An apologetic Breel Embolo scored the winner against the country of his birth to hand Switzerland a 1-0 victory over Cameroon in their World Cup Group G clash at the Al Janoub Stadium on Thursday.
Embolo swept home a low Xherdan Shaqiri cross after 48 minutes and then stood still with a rueful frown on his face as his team mates celebrated around him. The 25-year-old was born in Yaounde but raised in Basel.
Cameroon were the better side in the opening half and might have had the lead as Karl Toko Ekambi, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting and Martin Hongla all missed good chances against a lackluster Switzerland side that battled to get out of first gear.
But the Swiss were much improved in the second period and took the lead through Embolo's well-worked goal. Ruben Vargas missed an excellent chance to score a second but was thwarted by goalkeeper Andre Onana as Cameroon ran out of steam.
Uruguay defender Diego Godin and midfielder Federico Valverde both hit the woodwork as the South Americans were held to a 0-0 draw by South Korea in their opening Group H game on Thursday.
Wearing a black mask to protect a facial fracture, Son Heung-min started for the South Koreans, yet it was teammate Hwang Ui-jo who came closest to breaking the deadlock, but he scooped his shot over the bar with the goal at his mercy.
The best chance of a pulsating first half fell to Uruguay captain Godin, whose glancing header from a corner hit the foot of the left-hand post just before the break.
Valverde fired a stinging shot in the final minute of regulation time that hit the top of the post as the two sides battled to a stalemate in front of a crowd of 41,663.