A profile of 2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship hosts Mauritius as they seek to go one better than their runners-up place last year in the competition from July 19-29.
COSAFA Under-17 Championship wins (0): None
Last years’ finish: Runners-up
African Under-17 Championship appearances (0): None
FIFA Under-17 World Cup appearances (0): None
2018 COSAFA Under-17 Championship fixtures:
19/07: vs Botswana – 15h30 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
21/07: vs Namibia – 15h00 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
24/07: vs Seychelles – 12h00 – St Francois Xavier Stadium
Mauritius will be hosting the COSAFA Under-17 Championships for the third year running and as the home side will be a threat for the trophy, as they showed in 2017.
Mauritius reached the final last year, holding eventual champions Zambia for much of the decider before being stung by late goals that saw them lose 3-0, a scoreline that did not reflect the competitive nature of the game.
Wins over Zimbabwe (1-0) and Botswana (2-1) set the Mauritians on the path to the semifinals, before they missed out on top-spot in the group with a 2-0 loss to Malawi.
They overcame a powerful South African side 2-0 in the knockout stages though, before going on to collect silver in the final.
It remains the best finish for the side in the regional competition and a sign that football in the country is on the rise.
It was certainly a better showing than in 2016 when they exited in the first round after defeats to eventual winners Namibia (1-3) and South Africa (0-2), to go with a win over Seychelles (1-0).
Namibia have never reached the finals of the African Under-17 Championships, which will be a real target for the team in 2018, with the COSAFA Under-17 Championships acting as a qualifier for the continental competition.