Al Wakrah (Qatar), November 27: Serbia and Cameroon shared the spoils after a six-goal thriller ended in 3-3 draw in their second Group G clash of the FIFA World Cup 202 at the Al Janoub Stadium in Al Wakhrah on Monday (November 28).
Jean-Charles Castelletto (29'), Vincent Aboubakar (63') and Eric Choupou-Moting (66') were on the scoresheet for Cameroon, while Strahinja Pavlovic (45+1'), Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (45+4') and Aleksandar Mitrovic (53') scored for Serbia in the entertaining draw.
The result keeps both Cameroon and Serbia alive in the race for the knock out round before the other two teams of the group - Brazil and Switzerland face off later on Monday (November 28).
The Indomitable Lions scored first through Castelletto only for Serbia to seize control in the closing moments of the first half through injury time goals from Pavlovic and Milinkovic-Savic.
Mitrovic increased the advantage for Dragan Stojkovic's men at the start of the second half and were cruising, but super sub Aboubakar came off the bench to score via a clever finish reducing the deficit before setting up Choupo-Moting to level the score for Rigobert Song's side.
Serbia dominated for the larger parts of the first half but had to wait until just before half-time to make their superiority count. However, it was even share of possession in the second half.
Mitrovic fired a left-footed strike against the post in the sixth minute following a neat one-two with Dusan Tadic and, six minutes later, came close again by shooting wide from close range after the ball bobbled around the Cameroon box.
Serbia were made to pay for his profligacy when Cameroon took the lead approaching the half-hour mark. Pierre Kunde whipped in a corner from the left that was flicked on by Nicolas Nkoulou and Castelletto tapped in at the far post.
Cameroon could have doubled their advantage after 43 minutes but Kunde fired straight at goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic when clean through before slicing the rebound horribly wide.
It was to prove a critical moment as Serbia turned the game around before the break. First, Pavlovic headed in Tadic's floated free-kick before Milinkovic-Savic drove home from the edge of the box, although Onana's deputy Devis Epassy should have done better.
Mitrovic got the goal his all-round display deserved eight minutes into the second half. Lovely interplay from Filip Kostic and Milinkovic-Savic enabled Andrija Zivkovic to find space on the right side of the area and his cut-back was perfect for Mitrovic to tap into an empty net.
Cameroon appeared to be beaten but the 55th-minute introduction of Aboubakar turned the game on its head. The Al Nassr striker made it 3-2 after 64 minutes, running on to Castelletto's through ball before producing an impudent scoop over Serbia goalkeeper Vanja Milinkovic-Savic - the goal given after a VAR check.
He then turned provider two minutes later, escaping down the right before crossing for Choupo-Moting to fire in. Mitrovic could have clinched it but shot straight at Epassy, who was in goal for Cameroon after regular goalkeeper Andre Onana is reportedly on his way home following a falling out with coach.
What's next in Group F after Cameroon vs Serbia?
Brazil and Switzerland meet each other for their second group stage fixture later in the day. In the final round of fixtures of Group G, Serbia face Switzerland, while Cameroon will meet Brazil. The last round of fixtures for Group G will take place on December 2.
(With Opta inputs)