World Cup: Cameroon comes from two goals down to draw with Serbia.
World Cup: Vincent Aboubakar rescues Cameroon in comeback draw with Serbia.
Vincent Aboubakar, who came off the bench to save his team, scored one outstanding goal and assisted on another as Cameroon rallied to draw 3-3 with Serbia on Monday. This result maintained both teams’ tenuous World Cup aspirations.
The rollercoaster Group G fixture leaves both sides on a single point from their two games, still just in contention for a round of 16 places, although Cameroon must face Brazil in their final match on Friday, while Serbia takes on Switzerland.
Just before the halfway point, Jean-Charles Castelletto gave Cameroon the lead, but a quick-fire double from Strahinja Pavlovic and the incredibly spectacular Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at the end of the first period turned the game in Serbia’s favour.
When Aleksandar Mitrovic added a second goal early in the second period, his team appeared to be in total control and headed for victory.
But Aboubakar, who top-scored at the Africa Cup of Nations finals earlier this year, turned the game around when he came off the bench.
He netted a fine solo goal with an audacious chip over the keeper to reduce the deficit, before breaking forward and crossing to Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting to smash in the equaliser three minutes later.
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But Serbia had gotten off to a better start. When Mitrovic’s fast footwork produced a shooting opportunity from a tight angle, he struck the post after flopping a header over the crossbar.
When Cameroon botched their line clearance and the ball fell to him eight yards out with the entire goal to aim at, he had another excellent opportunity, but he missed it.
Cameroon took the lead from a set-piece after Serbia had needlessly conceded a corner. Castelletto got on the end of Nicolas N’Koulou’s flick to tap home at the back post.
Serbia levelled in first-half injury time via a goal that was also simple in its execution. Dusan Tadic floated a free-kick into the box and Pavlovic rose highest to direct the ball into the corner of the net.
Two minutes later, they took the lead when Milinkovic-Savic was given time by the Cameroon defence to choose his place on the edge of the box and direct the ball into the goal.
Mitrovic began and completed a nicely constructed third for Serbia. After a series of passes inside the penalty area, the ball was squared by Andrija Zivkovic, and the bulky number nine had a simple tap-in. He drove toward the Cameroon box.
Aboubakar was instructed to leave the bench at that point. In order to tie the game and keep Cameroon in the competition, he first provided a flawless chip into the net for 3-2. He then outran the offside trap, raced clear, and whipped over a low cross for Choupo-Moting to tie the game.