One would imagine that after scoring a goal at the World Cup, and your first World Cup goal to boot, that a player would wheel away in exuberant celebration.
That was not the case for Switzerland’s Breel Embolo against Cameroon.
Early in the second half against Cameroon, the forward scored to give Switzerland a 1-0 lead. Embolo put himself in perfect position in front of the goal, and took advantage of a lovely stretch of build up play, leading to a perfect pass to him from Xherdan Shaqiri. Embolo pushed the shot off his right foot past Cameroon keeper Andre Onana, and Switzerland was in the lead:
Another look at this goal by Breel Embolo pic.twitter.com/PysjTJuYbG— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
It was the first World Cup goal for Embolo, who did score during qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. Embolo also scored a pair of goals in qualifying for this year’s tournament. But despite the fact that this was his first goal for Switzerland in the World Cup, his celebration was rather muted.
Because the goal came against the country of his birth.
Instead, Embolo simply put his hands up, before being hugged by teammates:
Breel Embolo doesn't celebrate his goal against Cameroon, the country he was born pic.twitter.com/rZIOSTcxkI— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 24, 2022
Prior to the match, Embolo spoke with the media about playing against Cameroon, and how special it would be for himself and his family. “It’s very special. It’s my hometown and my mum and my dad come from there, my family, most of them come from there, so it’s a special game for me and my family,”
He also said that he is Cameroon’s number-one fan, even though that needed to be put on hold for the first match of the World Cup. When asked if that remained true, he replied: “yes of course - but after Switzerland, and after this game.”
Now Embolo can go back to being Cameroon’s top fan, after scoring the match-winning goal against them in World Cup play.