Seychelles became the fourth and final team to qualify for the semi-finals of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup after their 2-2 draw against Mauritius in their final Group B match in Dhaka on Monday.
The other team of the group Burundi had already booked their place in the knockout stage of the tournament as Group B champions with their two successive wins against Seychelles and Mauritius.
Seychelles lost to Burundi by 1-3 goals while Mauritius lost to the same opponent by 1-4 goals. As a result, despite a 2-2 draw in Monday’s match Seychelles reached the semi-finals by virtue of better goal difference.
Seychelles will now take on defending champions and Group A winners Palestine in the first semi-final on January 22 followed by the second semi-final between hosts Bangladesh and Burundi a day later.
For Seychelles, midfielder Gervais Waye-Hive and forward Perry Moniaie scored one goal apiece while forward
Alex Jason Feree and midfielder Adrien Francois pulled two goals back for Mauritius.
Gervais gave Seychelles the lead in the 19th minute when his right-footed drive from inside the box found the back of the net after a back-pass by forward Perry Moniaie from left side.
Seychelles were 2-0 up nine minutes later when Moniaie placed the ball home with a deft touch after receiving a pass from midfielder Brandon Labrosse from the top of the box.
Mauritius had a chance to reduce the margin in the 59th minute but forward Botlar Adrien handled the ball in front of the goalmouth while trying to control a cross from defender Pitghen Adrien from right side.
But the East African nation pulled one goal back in the 67th minute when Feree headed home the ball from a goalmouth off a corner by captain Pascal Damien Balisson.
Feree missed a sitter in the 83rd minute when his shot flew over the crossbar despite finding an open net.
Seychelles were reduced to 10-man a minute later when their defender Juninhno Mathiot was sent off for his second yellow card.
With a one man advantage, Mauritius pressed hard for the equaliser which bore fruit in the stoppage time as Adrien’s shot deflected into the Seychelles net.
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