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Live updates, scores, start times, Matchday 5, Switzerland vs Cameroon, Uruguay vs South Korea, Portugal vs Ghana, Brazil vs Serbia

In a touching moment Switzerland’s Breel Embolo scored the winner against the country of his birth.

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal and tournament favorites in Brazil are in action on Friday morning.

Follow FIFA World Cup Matchday 5 in our live blogs below, including Switzerland v Cameroon (9pm AEDT), Uruguay v South Korea (12am AEDT), Portugal v Ghana (3am AEDT) and Brazil v Serbia (6am AEDT).

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The second-longest losing streak in World Cup history has continued after Switzerland fought past Cameroon 1-0 at the Al Janoub Stadium.

After a shaky start the Swiss only needed the one goal and it came from Breel Embolo, who was born in Cameroon where his dad still lives.

The win means Cameroon has lost eight consecutive World Cup games, one off the all-time record set by Mexico, and with matches against Serbia and Brazil to come, look on track to break it.

“We talked about the air conditioned stadium, but that’s probably one of the slowest games I’ve seen to date,” Sarah Walsh said on SBS.

“There was a lack of intensity, there was absolutely no press, players walking to the ball.”

Cameron was one of the worst two teams at the 2010 and 2014 events, the last times they qualified, scoring three goals and conceding 14 across the two World Cups.

Yet they were the busier of the two nations in the opening half-hour, showing more pace and dynamic play.

However the most notable sight was another half-empty stadium, with unoccupied prime seating visible during the match in another blow to Qatar’s claims of huge attendance at this tournament.

The Swiss had a very promising late chance but missing the header wide saw both teams head into the half level at 0-0.

Embolo easily turned in a delivery from Xherdan Shaqiri for the game’s only goal, celebrating respectfully and quietly.

Not long later Swiss captain Granit Xhaka went down in agony after being lightly stepped on and soon got up without difficulty.

The Cameroonians did very little from that stage and never really looked likely to equalize.

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

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

Re-live Switzerland v Cameroon in our live blog below!

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URUGUAY v SOUTH KOREA [12am AEDT] – Preview (via AFP) and live blog

South Korea talisman Son Heung-min starts his side’s opening World Cup match against Uruguay in Qatar despite undergoing facial surgery earlier this month.

Portuguese coach Paulo Bento picked his captain after deeming the Tottenham forward “able to play” despite training with a protective face mask in Doha.

Son fractured his eye socket in a collision during a Champions League match against Marseille at the beginning of the month.

But he underwent successful surgery and declared himself fit and available for his country.

Uruguay coach Diego Alonso has selected Luis Suarez up front, with fellow veteran Edinson Cavani on the bench.

Facundo Pellistri starts at right wing despite not playing a single club match for Manchester United this season, with Liverpool’s Darwin Nunez also selected in the front three.

Uruguay (4-1-2-3) Sergio Rochet; Martin Caceres, Diego Godin (capt), Jose Maria Gimenez, Mathias Olivera; Matias Vecino; Federico Valverde, Rodrigo Bentancur; Facundo Pellistri, Luis Suarez, and Darwin Nunez

South Korea (4-2-3-1) Kim Seung-gyu; Kim Jin-su, Kim Young-gwon, Kim Min-jae, Kim Moon-hwan; Jung Woo-young, Hwang In-beom; Na Sang-ho, Lee Jae-sung, Son Heung-min (capt); Hwang Ui-jo

Follow Uruguay v South Korea in our live blog below!

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PORTUGAL v GHANA [3am AEDT] – Preview (via Oliver Murray and AFP) and live blog

What does Cristiano Ronaldo have in common with former Socceroos defender Craig Moore and former New Zealand international Simon Elliott?

At the moment, not much. But when the superstar takes the field for Portugal against Ghana on Friday morning (AEDT), the three will share a unique World Cup feat.

He will become the first player since Moore and Elliott in 2010 to compete in a World Cup match without having a club.

Ronaldo is the only player out of 831 competing in Qatar without a club.

The striker parted ways with Premier League club Manchester United by mutual consent on Tuesday and is searching for a new club.

Ronaldo, 37, had spoken in a controversial interview last week, where he lashed out at coach Erik ten Hag and the club itself, provoking his eventual departure.

How much that search for a new club impacts his performances on the field will be on show in a few hours.

Craig Moore playing at the 2010 World Cup for Australia.Source: News Limited

But Portugal coach Fernando Santos claimed that Ronaldo’s acrimonious split from Manchester United had not been discussed by the players to his knowledge.

“In our time together on the pitch, whenever we’re together, playing and training, the conversation has not come up at any moment, not even from him (Ronaldo),” he told a press conference.

“If they’re talking about that in their rooms alone, I can’t say. The players are absolutely focused, with a great spirit, convinced about what they have to do, what their objectives are and realistic about the challenges they are facing.

The superstar has also been banned for two English Premier League matches and fined £50,000 for hitting a mobile phone out of a teenage fan’s hand.

Portugal’s forward Cristiano Ronaldo takes part in a training session at Al Shahania SC, northwest of Doha.Source: AFP

Ronaldo was involved in a flare-up with a 14-year-old boy following the Red Devils 1-0 loss away to Everton in the Premier League at Goodison Park on April 9.

Of course, that ban is irrelevant if Ronaldo doesn’t find another team in England, but it’s another distraction he needs heading into his final World Cup.

His teammates are saying the off field dramas with Ronaldo aren’t impacting the team in Qatar.

Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes – who played with Ronaldo at Manchester United – said it was a “dream” to play with him at United, but “nothing lasts forever”.

“It is his career and we have to respect such decisions, every decision has to be respected regardless of whether you agree or not,” he said before the Ghana game.

“We as players, but also as parents, brothers, we know it might be difficult to take some decisions but these decisions have to be for the wellness of ourselves and our families.”

Ghana coach Otto Addo thinks Portugal will not be affected by Ronaldo’s split from Manchester United.

“I don’t care, it’s not our problem and I don’t think it’s a big problem,” Addo told a press conference on Wednesday.

“Everybody wants to win and we’re at World Cup level, I don’t think this can disrupt anybody.”

Black Stars captain Andre Ayew agreed with his coach and said Euro 2016 winners Portugal would be favorites for the clash at Stadium 974 in Doha.

“As my boss said it’s not really our problem what’s happening in the Portuguese team, they are great professionals, playing for top teams, they will be ready for the World Cup,” said Ayew, who plays for Qatari club Al-Sadd.

“Portugal are the ones who are favorites on paper, we have to show on the field, that on paper is not what will happen on the pitch.”

Follow Portugal v Ghana in our live blog below!

Socceroos still digesting tough WC loss | 02:24

BRAZIL v SERBIA [6am AEDT] – Preview (via AFP) and live blog

Brazil are hoping for a fully fit and firing Neymar, and a well-balanced squad around him, will allow the five-time winners to live up to their status as World Cup favorites in Qatar.

They begin their bid to win a record-extending sixth title when they play a dangerous Serbia side – and the world’s most expensive player is coming into the tournament in ominous form.

In 2014, Neymar’s World Cup ended in agony as he suffered a fractured bone in his back in the quarter-final win over Colombia before the hosts were humiliated by Germany in the semi-finals, losing 7-1.

Four years later Neymar raced to recover from injury in time for the tournament in Russia, but Brazil never hit the expected heights before losing to Belgium in the last eight.

This time around, a 30-year-old Neymar arrives fresh from a fantastic start to the season with Paris Saint-Germain in which he has scored 15 goals in 20 games.

“I think Neymar is coming into this competition in great form,” veteran Brazil captain Thiago Silva, now with Chelsea but a former teammate of Neymar’s in Paris, told reporters.

“His preparation this time has been different. In 2014 he got injured just as he was playing so well, and in 2018 he came into the tournament in a different way because he had a serious injury so hadn’t played much.

“This time is different and he has not been injured. Neymar is a lot better prepared.”

With Brazil also facing Switzerland and Cameroon in Group G, Neymar will be hoping to get the two goals he needs to equal Pele’s all-time record tally of 77 goals for the Selecao.

But the responsibility in attack is not all his – coach Tite can also call on a raft of other exciting attackers, including Real Madrid pair Vinicius Junior and Rodrygo.

“In my opinion these players will help Neymar because they can divide up the responsibility and create space for him,” added Silva, who was the captain in 2014 and is still going strong aged 38.

This tournament has already seen a heavily fancied Argentina lose in their opening match while Germany have been beaten too.

But Brazil are hoping for a strong start and a repeat of what happened in the only other World Cup to be held in Asia, when they won their last title in Japan two decades ago.

“The atmosphere in the squad is super healthy. The mixture of young players and more experienced ones creates a great connection,” said Silva.

“We have players who are accustomed to the pressure, who are used to the pressure of big games in the Champions League like Vini and Rodrygo, who are among the youngest players in the squad but have already shown they can be decisive.”

Silva is one of the few survivors of the 2014 team that was overwhelmed by the pressure of trying to win the World Cup on home soil.

This time he is hoping to be a calming influence on the rest of the squad.

“Some things change over time. I am now much better prepared for this moment, I am super calm and super determined,” he said.

“I am enjoying myself at the moment and I am eager to show the best version of Thiago Silva. At the age of 38 I am enjoying one of the best spells in my career.”

Coach Tite, 61, wants to step down at the end of the World Cup, whatever happens in Qatar.

He survived in the job after the quarter-final exit in Russia in 2018 and this time he is hoping to depart Doha as a world champion.

“As Tostao said, it’s good to dream, so we are dreaming of having a good World Cup and winning it,” he said, citing one of the greats of Brazil’s 1970 World Cup-winning side.

“Only one team can be the champions. Other teams want to be too. Pressure is inevitable.”

Follow Brazil v Serbia in our live blog below!

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