Onana plays as Cameroon are beaten by Senegal

Friday 19 January 2024 19:14

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana played his first match of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations on Friday, as Cameroon were defeated 3-1 by reigning champions Senegal in Group C.

Ismaila Sarr's deflected effort gave Senegal a 1-0 lead at half-time, before Habib Diallo added a second after the break.

Jean-Charles Castelletto halved the deficit with a powerful header late on, with Georges-Kevin N'Koudou squandering a golden opportunity to equalise before Sadio Mane's last-gasp finish sealed the win for the Teranga Lions.

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Senegal dominated the first half, and took the lead through Sarr after 16 minutes.

Onana had been forced to clear or catch crosses in the early stages but couldn't do anything about the winger's finish, as the Olympique Marseille man swiveled inside the box and fired a shot that deflected off Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and beyond the United keeper.

Former Liverpool forward Mane then broke through soon after, but Enzo Tchato got back to deflect his left-footed shot behind for a corner.

Frank Magri almost had an opening for Cameroon in the first half, but it was cleared by Senegal keeper Edouard Mendy, as the reigning champions continued to impose themselves.

The Teranga Lions looked to double their lead after the break, with Sarr breaking down the right and crossing, but Onana did well to read the delivery and intercept it.

A mix-up at the back involving Mendy almost gifted Cameroon a leveller, but thankfully for Senegal it spun behind.

The reigning made it 2-0 not long after, with Sarr playing the ball into Diallo before the forward finished beyond Onana.


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Diallo then collided with an opponent and suffered an injury, forcing him to be stretchered off and replaced by Chelsea striker Nicolas Jackson.

In the closing stages, Cameroon halved the deficit when centre-back Castelletto rose the highest and powered a header beyond Mendy, from Olivier Ntcham's cross, setting up a tense finale.

But after N'Koudou headed wide when presented with a golden opportunity to level it in the dying moments, Senegal went up the other end and sealed the win through Mane, who steered home from Idrissa Gueye's low cross.

Next up for Onana and the Indomitable Lions is a Group C match against Gambia, as they await their first victory of the tournament in the Ivory Coast.