Key events

Switzerland 0-0 Cameroon

An entertaining and even first half. Both teams will be happy with their performances and will probably be a little irked they have failed to find the net.

45+1 mins: A Switzerland corner finds Akanji on the edge of the six-yard box but he can only flash his header wide. A huge chance.

45 mins: Only two minutes added on.

44 mins: How long will be added on before half time? I can’t remember any stoppages of note, so … eight minutes?

42 mins: Elvedi is involved down the other end as he fails to deal with a cross but makes up for it my deflecting Choupo-Moting’s shot behind for a corner. Mbeumo takes it but Switzerland flick the ball away.

40 mins: Castelletto is dispossessed by Embolo 30 yards from his own goal. Embolo ends up through on goal but Castelletto is determined to get back and gets there just in time to tackle the striker and send the ball out for a corner.

The resulting set-piece finds Elvedi eight yards out, he stoops to head at goal but sends his effort just wide.

38 mins: It’s been an entertaining game thus far with both teams looking dangerous in the final third but the Swiss are yet to test Onana.

36 mins: Widmer is in the action down the other end, sliding in to beat Toto-Ekambi to Fai’s cross inside the six-yard box and save a certain goal.

Fai goes into the book moments later for a needlessly late challenge on Elvedi.

34 mins: Switzerland beat the press and get the ball to Widmer on the right, allowing him to flash a cross along the six-yard line but Cameroon get it clear.

32 mins: Andros Townsend on co-comms says you can judge a team’s confidence by how their full-backs are playing. Cameroon’s a playing high and wide, if you are wondering.

30 mins: Neat play from Mbeumo and Choupo-Moting always the former to slip a pass through for Hongla, who hits a scuffed shot across Sommer. The goalkeeper can only palm it out in front of him but thankfully for the goalkeeper there is a defender to swipe clear.

Daniel makes an interesting point. Fifa can’t get many calls right. I fear they do not even consider this sort of thing.

@Will_Unwin Red shirts & shorts, vs green shirts & socks. Another cracking match for the colour blind. Why, FIFA, why? Or should we be grateful the socks are clearly different?

— Daniel Coomber (@danieljcoomber) November 24, 2022

28 mins: Cameroon get a goal kick despite it looking like Tolo is the man to get the last touch. The wry smile from Tolo implies he thinks so, too.

26 mins: Admir Pajic emails: “Cameroon haven’t had the best time at WCs since Italia 90 with one victory and ten defeats in 15 games since the defeat against England.

“Switzerland, on the other hand, are tough nut to crack – they rarely either win or lose inside 90 minutes at WCs (just four defeats in 15 games came inside 90 minutes).

“However, I’ve been thinking if having too many players on the wrong side of 30s has been a problem for big teams such as Argentina, Germany, Croatia and Belgium while England and Spain look more lively than any of aforementioned teams. Switzerland have a fair Schär of 30-somethings as well.”

I wonder if the experience of tournament football is very useful for Switzerland. These players know how to get the job done. And a lovely pun in there.

Xherdan Shaqiri is challenged by Martin Hongla and Karl Toko Ekambi.
Xherdan Shaqiri under scrutiny from Martin Hongla and Karl Toko Ekambi. Photograph: Noushad Thekkayil/EPA

24 mins: Cameroon move the ball out to Mbuemo on the right, he cuts in and looks set to shoot but Switzerland close him down. The attack earns Cameroon a corner. Mbuemo sends it into the box but it misses everyone.

22 mins: Switzerland take a little risk a the back with some short passes. Elvedi does not put enough pace on his backpass to Sommer who just gets to the ball a split second before Mbuemo and chips it back to his centre-back.

20 mins: A couple of crosses are sent into the box and cleared. The ball makes it out to Xhaka who looks to dink a ball over the top but he puts a little too much on the pass and it goes out for a goal kick.

18 mins: “Thanks for the wonderful coverage from sunny climbs. (Living room?),” asks Bill Hargreaves. I certainly am here, with my very untidy desk. “Might be my oversight, but I can’t see Roger Milla’s name on the team-sheet. Is this a typo?”

He had to be rested to make sure he was able to take his prize from Infantino before the match.

16 mins: Switzerland seem very keen to whip crosses into the box. They are yet to cause too much trouble but it looks like a cunning plan.

15 mins: Choupo-Moting beats Akanji to a the ball on the halfway line, allowing him to run through on goal. The Manchester City defender gets back to put him under pressure, meaning the shot lacks power, allowing Sommer to get down to stop it.

14 mins: Vargas does a step over and drops a shoulder on the left before pinging a low cross into the corridor of uncertainty but there is not a Switzerland player in sight, allowing Cameroon to clear. Moments later Shaqiri slips a pass through to Embolo in the area but he is bundled over. Not that it really matters because he is a yard offside.

12 mins: Xhaka decides to let fly from 30 yards but he sends the ball very high over the bar and then shouts at his teammates for some reason or other.

10 mins: Two chances for Cameroon. A long pass is played through the Swiss defence for Mbuemo to chase, he gets there and fires a shot straight at Sommer. The rebounds lands at Toko-Ekambi’s feet but he flashes the ball over from 10 yards.

Karl Toko Ekambi misses an early chance for Cameroon.
Karl Toko Ekambi misses an early chance for Cameroon. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters

8 mins: Cameroon have their first quasi-attack of the match, earning a free-kick around 35 yards from goal. Mbuemo takes it but fails to beat the first man and the danger is quickly nullified.

6 mins: Embolo rolls the defender and plays it to Shaqiri, who swings a cross into a dangerous area from the right but there is no one in red to meet it. There is, however, a man in green who does his best to help Switzerland by slicing his attempted clearance but Onana is there to catch it.

4 mins: No shortage of shade on the pitch, which is a little annoying. There is a bit of noise in the stands but not too much due to the healthy amount of empty seats we can see around the side.

Switzerland's Breel Embolo chest the ball under pressure from Nicolas Nkoulou.
Switzerland’s Breel Embolo chest the ball under pressure from Nicolas Nkoulou. Photograph: Marko Đurica/Reuters

2 mins: A positive start from the Swiss who move the ball up the pitch quickly to earn a corner. Shaqiri swings it in from the right, it is low towards the near post and causes a little bit of confusion before Cameroon swipe it clear.

Kick off

Peep! Peep! Peep! Here we go!

The reaction from Germany to yesterday’s defeat to Japan.

It sounds and looks like the stadium his half empty. Not what the organisers would want for this group game. I am sure they will massage the attendance figures.

Carney is a big Anguissa fan and so am I. Maybe we should be friends.

Roger Milla gets a certificate from Infantino on the pitch. I hope it goes on his wall. Shame about having to meet Infantino, though.

The Guardian’s very own Karen Carney is currently on ITV. She is backing Brazil to win the tournament. Her views on England v USA will be out later today.

One of the greats interviews one of the greats.

“My favourite early kick off story,” says Gerry Scott, “was when Ronaldinho was playing for Barcelona and they requested the game be brought forward due to international commitments. That was refused so they brought the match forward until 12:05am.”

Peter Oh emails: “I feel like I have got something in common with Dani Alves ‘cos I love football and they don’t pay me either.”

I am also here on a volunteer basis.

Bangers and goals.

Looking forward to seeing Djibril Sow for Switzerland. Nottingham Forest were very interested in signing the Eintracht Frankfurt player in the summer, so we will find what they missed out on.

Starting lineups

Switzerland (4-2-3-1): Sommer; Widmer, Akanji, Elvedi, Rodríguez; Freuler, Xhaka; Shaqiri, Sow, Vargas; Embolo

Cameroon (4-3-3): Onana; Tolo, Nkoulou, Castelletto, Fai; Gouet, Hongla, Zambo Anguissa; Mbeumo, Choupo-Moting, Toko Ekambi.

Cameroon came into the stadium singing and dancing. You do not get that from the Swiss.

Sid Lowe has had a little natter with Dani Alves. Brazil play later today …

It seems very odd to be doing a minute-by-minute at this time of day. The match kicks off at 10am GMT. What is the earliest you have been to a professional football match? I remember Man City once played Everton in an 11.30am kick-off (or similar).

What’s happening today in the World Cup? Let the Guardian tell you …

Louise Taylor has written about former Liverpool and West Ham defender Rigobert Song, who is now the Cameroon coach.

Hello!

There are some big hitters entering the World Cup fray today: Brazil, the unemployed Cristiano Ronaldo, to name but two. There are few big hitters, however, than Xherdan Shaqiri’s calves. The Swiss international has 109 caps to his name in his 31 years. Experience is a theme of this Switzerland squad; there are three players with a century of international appearances to their name, not to mention Haris Seferovic on 98 and 33-year-old Yann Sommer. It helped them defeat France in the Euros to reach the quarter finals. They made it out of the group at the past two World Cups, so will come into this feeling relatively confident.

Obviously, the fact Brazil are also in Group G makes this a must-win game for Switzerland and Cameroon. The Africans are not at their historic best but there is plenty of quality running throughout the side. From Andre Onana in net to the in form Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting at the other end of the pitch, Cameroon can give most teams a game of their day. The finished third in last year’s Africa Cup of Nations, so they know how to progress in a tournament. They arrive in Qatar ranked 43rd in the world, 28 below Switzerland, which is a slight indication of the difference between the two teams but I think the gap is not as large as Gianni Infantino’s boffins think.

Let’s hope for a decent game to get Group G off to a fine start.

Kick-off: 10am GMT

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