- India won 2-1
- Robin and Balwant scored for India
- India face St. Kitts And Nevis next
India started off their tri-nations challenge strongly as they came from behind to defeat Mauritius in their first match of the tournament. Goals by Robin Singh and debutant Balwant Singh were enough to give hosts India a 2-1 victory in Mumbai. The home team found proceedings more difficult than they would have against a team ranked 63 places below in the FIFA rankings.
With the clash against 160th ranked Mauritius being seen more of as a warm-up for the world Asian Cup qualifier to be played next month, India was expected to stroll through the match. It was not to be so, as a determined Mauritius side ended up complicating things for India on the evening. Stephen Constantine handed out chances to many U-23 players to put out a young Indian side.
Mauritius silenced the home crowd early on as Mervyn Jocelyn’s powerful right-footer deflected off Anas Edathodika in the 15th minute of the match. They were clearly the better side in the opening 20 minutes, as they kept troubling the Indian defenders with their crisp passing and slick crosses. However in the 37th minute Robin Singh sped past defender Louis Dorza before unleashing an angular left-footer to find the back of the net. Good attacking work by India finally paid off, to see the hosts back in the game.
India rode on the equalizer scored by them as they came out strong in the second half.They pressed intently and looked threatening as they attacked with menace. The winner in the 62nd minute was a result of a good move as Jeju Lalpheklhua’s deft touch opened wide space down the middle for Balwant who went on to get his first goal in Indian colors. India next take on St. Nevis and Kitts on Thursday.