Aboubakar & Indomitable Lions roar in six-goal thriller! Cameroon & Serbia take a point apiece from World Cup classic
- Castelletto opened the scoring
- Serbia scored twice in first-half stoppage-time
- Experienced forward changed the game
TELL ME MORE: The Indomitable Lions rode their luck in the early exchanges, as Aleksandar Mitrovic spurned a couple of glorious opportunities, but forced a breakthrough just before the half-hour mark when a corner was glanced on for Jean-Charles Castelletto to bundle home at the back post. Cameroon thought they would reach the interval with their noses in front, but a stunning turnaround was completed by Serbia in first-half stoppage time. Stahinja Pavlovic restored parity when getting his head to a clipped free-kick, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic rattled in a low drive from the edge of the box that nestled in the bottom corner. With their tails up, Serbia grabbed a third after the break as some clever build-up play and unselfish passing allowed Mitrovic to grab his first goal of Qatar 2022 as he rolled in from close range. Vincent Aboubakar hauled Cameroon back into the game as he beat the offside trap and VAR to record a looped effort, before teeing up Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to fire in a remarkable equaliser three minutes later.
THE MVP: Aboubakar was only introduced 10 minutes into the second-half, with Cameroon chasing the game at that point as they found themselves two goals behind. The 30-year-old Porto frontman has often been a hero for his country, claiming a Golden Boot at the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year, and certainly delivered when it mattered most against Serbia. He displayed remarkable composure when registering a goal of his own in a stunning contest, with the fact that he considered himself to be offside probably contributing to a decision that saw him scoop the ball over Vanja Milinkovic-Savic in the 63rd minute. Technology ruled him to be on, as it did again moments later as he sprung clear down the right flank and centred for Choupo-Moting to haul the Indomitable Lions level.
THE BIG LOSER: Andre Onana may have taken in his last minutes of the 2022 World Cup, while questions will be asked of his international future for as long as Rigobert Song remains in charge of the Indomitable Lions. The Inter goalkeeper was dropped completely from Cameroon’s squad for a crucial clash that they needed to take a positive result from. Disciplinary issues contributed to Onana’s enforced absence, with a proven performer reported to have disagreed with advice from his coach. His presence between the sticks was missed, with back-up shot-stopper Devis Epassy avoiding a few early scares before failing to deal with a low drive from Milinkovic-Savic that he really should have done better with. Epassy did not end up on the losing side, though, and produced a couple of smart stops late on that suggest that he will grow into the role of becoming a regular No.1 for his country.
MATCH IN THREE PHOTOS:
AS IT STANDS:
WHAT NEXT? Cameroon still face a difficult task to reach the knockout stages, with only one more Group G outing against Brazil to come, while Serbia know that they will have to beat Switzerland on matchday three in order to progress.
MATCH RATING (OUT OF FIVE): ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐