FIFA Ranking: 160
Nickname: Club M, Les Dodos
Last official match played: Angola 3-2 Mauritius (23 July 2017)
Coach: Francisco Filho
A tiny island in the vast Indian Ocean, Mauritius' links with India run deep by centuries as a huge diaspora migrated under Colonial rule. Mostly known for their tourism, Mauritian football has never been a force to be reckoned with. It was only five years ago that they reached the nadir of being pushed into the 200s in the FIFA rankings.
Affiliated to the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA) sub-division of the Confederation of African Football (CAF), Mauritius have never grabbed eyeballs over the years; their only appearance in the Africa's flagship event coming in 1974.
In the regional COSAFA Cup, their return of six wins in 26 matches in the competition's history does not reflect too well. However, their biggest achievement came in the 2004 edition when they beat a full strength South Africa.
Les Dodos won the gold medal at the 2003 Indian Ocean Island Games, beating Reunion in the final at their newly-refurbished stadium at Curepipe. Mauritius only joined COSAFA in 1999 and played in the COSAFA Cup for the first time in 2000.
Earlier this month, Francisco Filho was appointed to head the team to the home India Ocean Island Games in 2019. A Brazilian by birth, Filho worked under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United as a youth coach, where he acted as an interpreter for Cristiano Ronaldo when he arrived at Old Trafford in 2003.
This will be the first time India face off against Mauritius, ranked 63 places below, Stephen Constantine's men will fancy their chances in AIFF's Tri-Nation tournament on 19 August 2017 in Mumbai.
|Players To Watch Out For|
Kevin Perticots : The 21-year-old is already on his way to being one of the greats of his nation. Earning his debut senior cap at the tender age of eighteen, the midfielder has represented both his national side and club side Pamplemousses with distinction over the last three years. Two of his three senior goals have come in 2017, making Perticots one of the players Indian defenders need to watch out for.
Kevin Bru: Born in Paris, Bru was trained in the famed INF Clairefontaine Academy but never made it big in France. His Mauritian roots ensured that he would turn out for the African nation even after playing for France U-19s. The 28-year-old has been a part of English Championship team Ipswich Town since 2014.
Head Coach Francisco Filho:
"It'll prove to be a great stage for us to show our abilities. Football is all about the techniques, strategies. We'll hope for the best and we won't compromise with our target while taking on India. We have come here to make a point and we'll enjoy every moment of it. Our ability is no less than others and we'll prove it on the pitch.
I'm yet to get used to all the players and I'm learning from them as well. This tournament is going to help me immensely understand the boys as well as vice versa. The place, the people are very good and they're very interested in the game. It's the first time Mauritius have come to play on the Indian soil and the boys are already in love with this beautiful country.
It's been my first time in India as well and I'm really overwhelmed by the warm hospitality shown towards us."
GOALKEEPERS: Kevin Jean-Louis, Christopher Caserne;
DEFENDERS: Marco Dorza, Emmanuel Vincent Jean, Francis Rasolofonirina, Damien Balisson, Mervyn Jocelyn, Kylian Yrnard, Samuel Rebet;
MIDFIELDERS: Luther Rose, Frederic Sarah, Jesson Rungasamy, Kevin Perticots, Guiyano Chiffone, Jonathan Aza, Kevin Bru, Walter Duprey St Martin, Nick Harel, Cedric Theodore;
FORWARDS: Jonathan Justin.
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