Cameroon and Serbia played out what is arguably the most enthralling affair of the 2022 FIFA World Cup so far courtesy of a 3-3 draw at the Al Janoub Stadium earlier today.
Having suffered a 1-0 defeat to Switzerland in their opening fixture, Rigobert Song’s men knew that a defeat here would spell the end of their journey in Qatar. They opened the scoring through Jean-Charles Castelletto just shy of the half-hour mark.
However, the Africans went into the half-time break trailing as quickfire goals from Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic turned the game around for Dragan Stojkovic’s men.
Rocked by what had transpired just before the interval, Cameroon began the second period out of sorts and were punished even further thanks to Aleksandar Mitrovic’s finish from close range.
Vincent Aboubakar was summoned shortly afterwards as Cameroon pressed forward with urgency and the veteran striker delivered the goods.
Aboubakar showed great composure to finish with aplomb within eight minutes of his introduction, before setting up strike partner Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting three minutes later to restore parity.
Both Cameroon and Serbia came close to snatching all three points in the final stages of the contest, but it wasn’t to be for either of them.
However, they remain in with a shout of qualifying for the knockout phase of football’s biggest tournament.
Devis Epassy (5/10) – Lot of controversy surrounding his selection but he did fairly okay between the sticks.
Nouhou Tolo (5.5/10) – Put up a solid performance defensively but once again, his attacking output left a lot to be desired.
Nicolas N’Koulou (5/10) – Quite shaky on several occasions but he came into his own as the game progressed.
Jean-Charles Castelletto (8/10) – Came up trumps for his side with one goal and one assist, while also completing a game-high eight clearances.
Collins Fai (5/10) – Had a decent game on the right flank without necessarily making any major impact.
Martin Hongla (5/10) – Struggle to establish a foothold in the centre of the pitch and was rightfully replaced 10 minutes into the second half.
Pierre Kunde (5.5/10) – Came close to getting on the scoresheet and was industrious in midfield as usual.
Frank Anguissa (5/10) – Was largely underwhelming for a player of calibre before coming off in the final knockings of the game.
Bryan Mbeumo (5.5/10) – A quiet performance from the Brentford man, who failed to make things happen in the final third.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (7/10) – Brought his side back on level terms with a superb finish and was a constant threat throughout.
Karl Toko Ekambi (5/10) – Managed a single crack at goal but that was just about it for the Olympique Lyon striker.
Vincent Aboubakar (8.5/10) *MOTM* – Showed why he is his nation’s highest scorer among active players with an impressive cameo off the bench which yielded one goal and one assist.
Christian Bassogog (5.5/10) – Worried the Serbian backline with his directness but could not conjure up any end product.
Gael Ondoua – 5/10
Samuel Oum Gouet – 5/10
Georges-Kevin N’Koudou – 5/10
Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (6/10) – Could hardly have done better for any of the goals and rose up to the occasion whenever called upon.
Strahinja Pavlovic (7/10) – Came to the fore for Serbia with a lovely equaliser in first-half stoppage time but had his outing cut short by an injury.
Milos Veljkovic (5/10) – Struggled in the heart of the back three and was deservingly hauled off late on.
Nikola Milenkovic (5/10) – Off the back of a fine display against Brazil, Milenkovic was found wanting against relatively easier opponents.
Filip Kostic (5.5/10) – Was often entrusted with the ball to make things happen out wide but the Juventus man failed to create a single chance.
Sasa Lukic (5/10) – His impressive passing range was on display once again but he was often bested in the middle of the park.
Nemanja Maksimovic (5.5/10) – Went about his business in midfield quietly and managed to create two chances.
Andrija Zivkovic (7.5/10) – Serbia’s best player on the day as he created two of his side’s three goals and was a constant menace down the right.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (7/10) – Was suspect while in possession of the ball on several occasions but delivered for his team nonetheless with a superb all-round display which included a go-ahead strike in the first half.
Dusan Tadic (6/10) – Yet another solid display for the Ajax attacker, who provided an inch-perfect cross for Pavlovic’s leveller.
Aleksandar Mitrovic (6.5/10) – Took his goal well but should have added to his tally as he spurned two glorious opportunities.
Stefan Mitrovic (4.5/10) – A horrendous showing from the 32-year-old, who failed to win any of his duels and was often got the better of.
Srdan Babic – 5/10
Nemanja Radonjic – 5/10
Marko Grujic – 5.5/10
Filip Duricic – N/A
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