Forwards Robin Singh and Balwant Singh struck on either side of the break as India got the better of 160th ranked Mauritius 2-1 in their opening encounter of the AIFF Tri-Nation Football tournament on Saturday. This was the ninth win on the trot for the Indian team that had a host of U-23 players.
For India, the tri-series tournament is being seen as a preparatory one for upcoming Asian Cup Qualifiers against Macau and the home team didn’t leave a stone unturned against a team ranked 63 places below in the FIFA rankings. Coach Stephen Constantine, keeping an eye on the future, decided to give the junior players go and they didn’t disappoint as well.
In the 15th minute of the game, Mervyn Jocelyn's powerful right-footer deflected off Anas Edathodika with veteran custodian Subrata Paul completely wrong-footed that gave Mauritius an early 1-0 lead.
However, in the 37th minute, a pass from Rowllin Borges found Robin Singh wide open on the left. The center forward moved past defender Louis Dorza before unleashing an angular left-footer beating the goalkeeper to draw level in the match.
But in the 62nd minute of the game, central midfielder Eugensen Lyngdoh sent on into attacking third where Jeje Lalpheklhua's deft touch opened wide space down the middle for Balwant, who found the net successfully to give India a 2-1 lead.
The Island nation failed to pull off the equalizer when the final hooter came as Indian registered a 2-1 victory.
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