Switzerland edged Cameroon 1-0 courtesy of a goal against the run of play by apologetic Breel Embolo versus the country of his birth for an opening win in World Cup Group G at the Al Janoub Stadium.
While it was a good day for the Swiss it was a bad one for African football, whose teams in Qatar have yet to score a goal in the tournament.
Apart from Cameroon, Tunisia as well as Morocco and Senegal all failed to find the net in their opening matches. Ghana are in action later on Thursday against Portugal.
Embolo, born in Yaounde but raised in Basel, struck three minutes after the restart from a Xherdan Shaqiri cut-back to put the Swiss top of the group.
The 25-year-old refused to celebrate the goal on his 60th international appearance, lifting his hands in the air and frowning as the small group of Swiss fans cheered wildly at Al Janoub Stadium.
“We know his story. I told him before the game ‘Breel, friendship until the start, then they are your opponents,” Switzerland coach Murat Yakin said.
“Football write such stories but he completed his mission. I am very happy with his performance.”
Serbia play Brazil in the other group match later on Thursday.