Cameroon tied Serbia 3-3 in one of the best games of the 2022 World Cup on Monday without starting goalkeeper Andre Onana.
Onana didn’t start the game after he had his normal place in the starting lineup in Cameroon’s 1-0 loss to Switzerland on Thursday. And according to multiple reports, Onana is no longer with the Cameroon National Team after he had a disagreement with coach Rigobert Song regarding the team’s tactics.
His absence came in the wake of a disagreement with coach Rigobert Song, who Onana felt set up the team to play too defensively, sources told ESPN, and Onana left the team (and the World Cup) as a result. Samuel Eto'o, the Cameroon Federation president, attempted to persuade Onana to remain with the team, but was unsuccessful.
Onana, 26, moved to Inter Milan over the summer after he spent six seasons at Ajax and made over 148 appearances with the Dutch club team. He’s been Cameroon’s No. 1 goalkeeper for most of the season and had played in 14 games for the national team before he was benched on Monday.
Both Cameroon and Serbia desperately needed points from their game on Monday after losing their Group G matches to start the tournament. Cameroon scored the game’s first goal but Serbia scored the next three to take a 3-1 lead after 53 minutes when Fulham striker Aleksandar Mitrovic got his first game of the World Cup.
Cameroon’s comeback began 10 minutes later when substitute Vincent Aboubakar scored.
Then Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored just minutes later to tie the game for good.
It was just the third time in World Cup history that an African team had come back to get a result after going down two goals and just the 10th time in World Cup history overall. The last African team to get points after going down two goals was the Ivory Coast in 2006.
The tie means that both Cameroon and Serbia have a single point heading into the final round of group games. Both teams will need wins to advance to the knockout rounds. Serbia takes on Switzerland while Cameroon will be a significant underdog against Brazil.