Durban — Cameroon opened up their World Cup campaign with a narrow 1-0 loss to Switzerland on Thursday. It was an eighth consecutive World Cup loss for the Indomitable Lions who now face an uphill battle to advance beyond the group stage as games against Serbia and Brazil lie ahead.
The following are five takeaways from the game:
Cameroon only have themselves to blame
The Swiss were not exactly much better than Cameroon. The African team were the better side in the first half, with Switzerland struggling to get going. Rigobert Song’s players even kept key Granit Xhaka quiet for the most part.
Questions need to be asked about Cameroon’s mentality
On paper, Cameroon have a decently team. They are certainly worthy of playing in the World Cup. Some even tipped them to cause an upset against Switzerland and they had the potential to do so.
However, after going behind early in the second half to Breel Embolo’s goal, they didn’t really look interested in scoring. If anything Cameroon looked more interested in scoring in the first half.
Even in stoppage time, they were not throwing men up front and were seemingly content to let the Swiss pass the ball around and waste time. They made Switzerland look better than they actually were.
Vuvuzelas are still popular among some
Notable off-pitch scenes from the game saw vuvuzela's being blown in the crowd, seemingly by supporters of Cameroon. The instrument which was brought to the attention of the public after South Africa hosted the World Cup in 2010 has largely not taken off internationally, with some finding it to be an annoyance.
However, as we saw in the game, some at least do admire it.
Embolo showed class after scoring
Embolo scored a simple tap-in following a crisp pass from Xherdan Shaqiri. In the aftermath of the goal, the 25-year-old, who was born in Cameroon did not celebrate out of respect to the nation of his roots. It was a classy act.
Song’s tactics must be questioned
Despite having capability, Cameroon lacked confidence going forward. Another thing missing was cohesion, while their passing was poor.
Song also made a very questionable decision to withdraw Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting after 74 minutes, when the Bayern Munich man was one of his better players on the day. Choupo-Moting also has a knack for scoring goals at the death, a time during which Cameroon lost all spark.