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.
MAURITIUS FINISHES IN LAST 23 YEARS
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