(Al Jazeera) Cameroon and Serbia have shared the spoils in a six-goal thriller – arguably the most exciting game of the World Cup in Qatar so far.
Jean-Charles Castelletto opened the scoring in the 29th minute for Cameroon after Serbia’s Aleksandr Mitrovic hit the post in the match’s early stages. The FC Nantes centre-back found himself unmarked at the far post following a flick-on from a corner and tapped the ball in, sending the Cameroon fans into raptures.
Two quickfire goals from Strahinja Pavlovic and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic just before the break then saw Serbia head into half-time in the lead.
The first was a powering header from Pavlovic, who found himself unmarked, ending an impressive period of defensive dominance from Cameroon in the early stages. The second goal resulted from a neat one-two between Andrija Zivkovic and Milinkovic-Savi, who scored with a low-hard shot from just outside the area.
Mitrovic then added a third in the 53rd minute as Serbia appeared to be in cruise control. It was a magnificent team goal with a string of passes across the box, leaving the striker with a simple tap-in.
It was a topsy-turvy game, with Cameroon then staging a second-half comeback after newly introduced Vincent Aboubakar scored an outrageous lob in the 64th minute after sending a defender the wrong way with a feint. The referee initially ruled it offside until VAR intervened.
Just two minutes later, Aboubakar drove down the right and passed it across the goal to Bayern Munich’s Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who tapped it in.
There were wild celebrations in the stands as Cameroon manager Rigobert Song thumped the air. It was a remarkable comeback that epitomised a thrilling match that provided end-to-end action throughout.
Serbia missed several guilt-edged chances in the final minutes, with Mitrovic hesitating to shoot when one-on-one with Devis Epassy, who was able to make himself big and stop the ball with his face.
A draw is a fair result considering the chances created by both teams, but ultimately, Serbia will be frustrated that they let a two-goal second-half lead slip.
The draw gives both sides one point, with Brazil and Switzerland on three ahead of their meeting later on Monday. Serbia take on the Swiss in their final group game on Friday when Cameroon entertain the Brazilians.