Cameroon and Serbia draw 3-3 in electrifying Group G game

The Qatar Cup had, this Monday (28), its most exciting match so far. In a duel of comebacks, Cameroon and Serbia drew 3-3 at Al-Janoub Stadium, in Al-Wakrah. Although they have provided a beautiful spectacle, the two teams breathe on equipment in group G and will need to win in the last round to be able to advance to the round of 16 of the World Cup. Both added their first point in the competition, while Brazil and Switzerland (who still face each other today) already have three.

Even before the ball rolled, a surprise: goalkeeper André Onana, one of the main names in Cameroon, was not listed for the match. According to information from the country’s press, the player, who defends Inter Milan and was in the starting lineup against Switzerland, would have been expelled from the delegation due to differences with coach Rigobert Song. So far, there is no official position from the Cameroonian federation. Epassy took over as starting goalkeeper against the Serbs.

The beginning of the match was difficult for the defense of the African team. At nine minutes, Mitrovic received inside the area, cut to the middle and kicked on the crossbar. Shortly after, the Cameroonian defenders fumbled and the ball was left clean for the Serbian center forward, facing the goal. However, the strong kick of the number 9 went out.

Little by little, Cameroon found itself in the game, with good attacks on the right, especially with Kunde. The evolution of the team was rewarded in the 28th minute. From a corner kick on the left, N’Koulou deflected his header off the first post and Castelletto appeared alone, unmarked, to complete the goal without any difficulties.

More at ease after opening the scoring, the African team continued to explore the right side a lot and almost expanded with Kunde, at 42. However, shortly after, the match had its first turnaround.

Serbia lightning turn

As has been customary in this Cup, the additions were generous in the first stage. The added six minutes was enough for Serbia to change the game’s outlook before the break. At 46 minutes, with a free kick in the area, Pavlovic tested firmly to equalize.

Two minutes later, in a well-crafted play at the edge of the area, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic finished from the left and beat Epassy, ​​who was unable to stop his opponent’s low shot.

Serbia could still have expanded, but Mitrovic’s shot, in a counterattack in which the European team had a numerical advantage in the attacking field, deflected in the defense and took ink from the left post defended by Cameroon.

Cameroon draws

On the way back from the locker room, the script at the end of the first half seemed to be just continuing. At seven minutes, Serbia extended the advantage on the scoreboard in a beautiful collective move. After stealing the ball in the middle of the field, Mitrovic advanced, the ball passed by three other teammates, dismantling the Cameroonian defense, until the attacker received it back, already in the small area, to score the third goal for the Serbs.

However, two minutes later, the second twist of the duel began, with a key replacement by coach Song, from Cameroon. The defeat meant the early elimination for the African team, which motivated the commander to exchange the Hongla defensive midfielder for the striker Aboubakar.

The effect did not take long to manifest itself. After fine individual moves, at 17, Aboubakar reduced the deficit in one of the most beautiful goals of the Cup so far. He received the back of the Serbian defense, on the right, cut the defender and covered goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic. At the moment, he did not celebrate, because initially the play was canceled by the linesman, but later the VAR confirmed the goal.

In the next move came the draw. Aboubakar was again launched on the edge of offside, on the right, but this time he advanced and found Choupo-Moting free in the area to equalize.

From then on, the two teams had chances to win, but already exhausted by the energy spent in two comebacks in a match played at 13:00 local time, they slowed down, without changing the scoreboard.

In the last round of group G, Cameroon and Serbia have only one option: to win. Any other result represents elimination still in the group stage. The last match of both will be on Friday (2), at 4 pm (Brasília time): Serbia faces Switzerland at Estádio 974, while the Cameroonian team faces Brazil, at Lusail.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News