Switzerland boss Murat Yakin hails ‘mature performance’ after World Cup Group G win

Switzerland boss Murat Yakin hails ‘mature performance’ after World Cup Group G win

Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said his side put in a “mature performance” as they beat Cameroon 1-0 in their opening match of the World Cup.

Breel Embolo, who was born in the West African country, scored the only goal when he stroked home Xherdan Shaqiri’s low cross.

The 25-year-old’s celebrations were understandably muted, but his goal was nonetheless crucial for Switzerland, who will be looking to at least match their Euro 2020 quarter-final appearance last summer.

Cameroon had the upper hand in the first half, but Switzerland started the second half well, with Embolo’s goal in the 48th minute.

Switzerland coach Yakin said: “Of course, you need patience. It was a mature performance.

“Obviously there’s a bit of uncertainty in a World Cup, not everything can go well from the start, but I’m happy with the possession, with how we converted it.

“Maybe 1-0 or 2-0 is not enough for my taste, maybe we could have scored more goals, but all in all we had a mature performance from our team.”

When asked about Embolo’s reaction to the goal, Yakin said: “We know his history, his past in Cameroon and Breel, you can be friendly until kick off and then after that they will be your opponents and we need you in our squad.

“You have an opponent, he obviously wants to score a goal for his team and he has done his job, so we are really happy with that.

“He also had very good moments during the match, his dynamics and his movements. Breel did his job well.

Cameroon coach Rigobert Song said his side were being punished for not being clinical enough.

Karl Toko Ekambi and Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting were guilty of squandering good openings in a first half in which Cameroon came out on top.

“Generally in soccer, when you’re dominating you have to hit the net,” Song said.

“Yes, we had more opportunities than them (in the first half) but we didn’t have that finishing touch. It was what made the difference.

“We showed we were hungry for that win, but the goal just didn’t come. We’re playing top-level football here, it’s no cakewalk. You can monopolize ball possession, it’s taking chances that counts.”

The defeat meant Cameroon have lost eight successive World Cup finals and face a tough path to the knockout stages with matches against Serbia and Brazil on the way.

“We haven’t given up hope, we still have two games to play,” said Song, a former Liverpool and West Ham defender.

“Now all systems work. We still have that faint hope. I think the next game will be different.”

READ NOW: The failure to celebrate Breel Embolo represents a quiet start for the “best ever” Switzerland.


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