Mauritius back to show their improvement in Eswatini

Mauritius will seek to show their potential at the TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023 | COSAFA Qualifier after mixed performances in recent years, though they skipped the 2020 championship altogether due to COVID-19.

Mauritius are in a tough pool though having been in drawn in Group A alongside perennial favourites Zambia, hosts Eswatini and Botswana, with only the top side in each pool and the best-placed runner-up advancing to the semifinals.

They can also dream of continental glory as the finalists in Eswatini will earn a place at the TotalEnergies AFCON U20 Egypt 2023, where the top four teams in turn qualify for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia next year.

Mauritius have been long-time competitors at this age group but have yet to make it out of the pool stages.

Having taken just a single point from six matches in the two tournaments before the 2016 showpiece event, they came within a whisker of reaching the knockout stages that year.

They needed to beat Angola in their final pool game to advance, but were held to a 1-1 draw to end the campaign unbeaten with a win and two draws, their best showing to date in the competition.

But that was followed by disappointment in 2017 when they lost all three of their games without scoring a goal.

There was an improved showing in 2018 in a shortened three-team pool as a 5-0 loss to South Africa was followed by a 4-0 victory over Eswatini, while in 2019 they drew with Lesotho (2-2) but lost to South Africa (5-0) and Madagascar (2-1).

In Botswana in 2011, the side also lost all three of their pool matches, conceding 11 goals and scoring none, and two years later claimed a single point from three games.

The side have twice before qualified for the Africa Under-20 Championships, once as hosts in 1993 and then again in 1995.

They won one game each in both finals competitions but did not advance past the pool stages.

1999 – Did not enter
2000 – Group stages
2001 – Group stages
2002 – Group stages
2003 – Group stages
2004 – Group stages
2005 – Group stages
2006 – Group stages
2007 – Group stages
2008 – Group stages
2009 – Did not enter
2010 – Group stages
2011 – Group stages
2013 – Group stages
2016 – Group stages
2017 – Group stages
2018 – Group stages
2019 – Group stages
2020 – Did not enter