This Cameroon is no indomitable lions of 1990, and even the presence of the original lion – Maradona’s nemesis Roger Milla – in the stands, couldn’t melt this Swiss edifice at the Al Janoub Stadium.
Rigobert Song’s team played with the toothless grin of a child or an octogenarian and there was no roaring thunder of the wisely ferocity of Mufasa or the youthful menace of Simba.
These journeymen of dual passports – carefully curated by Cameroon FA boss Samuel Eto’o – still had an early snarl of the wild but were soon tamed.
The one man Eto’o couldn’t convince, Breel Embolo, playing for Switzerland, hurt the land of his birth, scoring the only goal in this 1-0 Swiss win.
Switzerland scored with its first shot on target, immediately after restart of play in the second-half, with skipper Granit Xhaka switching play from right to left to Xherdan Shaqiri with a quick touch in the middle from Remo Freuler.
The Alpine Messi’s cut back inside the box saw no urgency from the defence, and Embolo, who called himself the ‘No 1 of Cameroon’ ahead of the tournament, reluctantly booted in the goal and there was no celebration to follow as a respect to the forefathers.
Eric Choupo-Moting, fuelled by rage, went on a solo mission in the 56th minute, dancing past a few defenders but the final angle was way too narrow to cause Yaan Sommer any problems or change the course of the game.
Ruben Vargas almost added Switzerland’s second when he was left with space to uncork a fizzing right footer from inside the box, forcing goalkeeper Andre Onana into a slightly awkward save in the 68th minute.
The goalkeeper, though, did well to keep out one of Xhaka’s thunderous efforts as the clocked ticked towards the end and a rasping left-footer from Haris Seferovic was also somehow kept out by lunging dives from the tiring defence.
The missed chances of the half before were haunted memories of a better past as the Cameroonians’ roar, alas, trailed into a whimper.