Manchester United faced a setback as goalkeeper Andre Onana missed Cameroon’s Africa Cup of Nations opener due to disruptions in his travel plans.
Following his participation in United’s 2-2 draw against Tottenham on Sunday, Onana embarked on a private plane journey to the Ivory Coast, where AFCON is taking place.
However, his jet encountered difficulties, reportedly stranded around 150 miles away in Abidjan, as the airport in Yamoussoukro was enveloped in fog, preventing landings.
In response, Onana attempted a three-hour car journey to the Charles Konan Banny Stadium in Yamoussoukro, where Cameroon was scheduled to kick off their campaign against Guinea at 5 pm on Monday.
Despite the effort, he did not feature in the starting XI, with Nimes goalkeeper Fabrice Ondoa taking his place.
United had previously reached an agreement with the Cameroonian FA, allowing Onana to stay in Manchester until January 14.
This arrangement permitted him to play in the FA Cup third-round win over Wigan and the clash against Spurs.
Onana’s decision to extend his time with the club reflected concerns about potentially losing his spot as the first-choice goalkeeper, with Altay Bayindir set to deputize after joining from Fenerbahce.
Although Onana faced challenges in his early days at Old Trafford, including a £47.2 million move from Inter Milan, manager Erik ten Hag defended him, emphasizing his strong statistics.
Ten Hag stated, “If you analyze it well, then you see he’s the second-best goalkeeper in the Premier League, based on stats.”
Despite occasional mistakes, Onana’s resilience and character were commended by Ten Hag, who highlighted the goalkeeper’s positive response to challenges, such as his outstanding performance against Burnley.