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Sports

World Cup roundup: Switzerland tops Cameroon to open group play

South Korea, Uruguay tie; Portugal bests Ghana; Brazil beats Serbia

Players from the Swiss and Cameroonian soccer teams greet each other after their match on Nov. 24   © Reuters

(Reuters) -- Switzerland's Breel Embolo scored in the 48th minute to give his team a 1-0 victory over Cameroon to open play in World Cup Group G action on Thursday in Al Wakrah, Qatar.

Cameroon was seeking its first World Cup win in 20 years and presented a formidable challenge to Switzerland in the first half. But Embolo scored three minutes into the second half after taking a cutback pass from Xherdan Shaqiri in the center of the box.

Embolo, 25, let his teammates do the celebrating of the match's only goal. Born in Cameroon, his family relocated to Switzerland when he was a child and had talked about a match against his native country as being potentially awkward.

Cameroon had its chances in the first half, but goalkeeper Yann Sommer blocked a shot from forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in the 14th minute and Karl Toko Ekambi couldn't convert on two opportunities -- one in each half.

--South Korea 0, Uruguay 0

Neither South Korea nor Uruguay recorded a shot on target, which FIFA said was the first time that has happened in World Cup play in the 2000s.

It was the opening match for the teams in Group H in Al Rayyan, Qatar.

Korean Hwang Ui-Jo had a chance to score in the 34th minute but missed from close range after taking a low cross from Moon-Hwan Kim.

Diego Godin's header in the 43rd minute for Uruguay hit the base of the post.

Darwin Nunez's shot went wide in the 81st minute and Fede Valverde's shot in the 90th minute bounced off the post.

--Portugal 3, Ghana 2

Cristiano Ronaldo became the first man to score in five World Cups and Portugal held off Ghana in a Group G opener.

Ronaldo, 37, opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 65th minute.

After Andre Ayew leveled the match for Ghana in the 73rd minute, Portugal got goals from Joao Felix in the 78th minute and Rafael Leao in the 80th to take control.

Osman Bukari's header completed the scoring for Ghana in the 89th minute.

--Brazil 2, Serbia 0

Richarlison tallied twice in the second half, including a stunning sideways volley in the 73rd minute, to lead Brazil over Serbia in a Group H opener.

The South American side peppered the Serbian net with 22 shots, with goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic denying several chances before Richarlison put away a loose ball in the 62nd minute.

Richarlison followed that with the goal of the tournament so far to put Brazil ahead 2-0.

Milinkovic-Savic finished with six saves.

--Field Level Media

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