Mauritius only had themselves to blame when several missed opportunities and a late conceded goal led to their game against St. Kitts & Nevis ending in a 1-1 draw in the second match of the Tri-nation Football Series at the Mumbai Football Arena tonight, August 22.
The pressure was more on Mauritius to perform after having lost their opening encounter to India. And it reflected as they showed attacking intent right from the word go. But the first real scare came at the other end when keeper Cesarne spilled the ball in his box but St. Kitts & Nevis couldn’t utilise the opportunity.
The opening goal came in the 19th minute when Jean Sarah headed Balisson’s inch perfect cross right through the goalkeepers’ hands to take the lead. Mauritius could have doubled within minutes but their attempt was saved from the goal line. Conceding seemed to have ignited the Caribbean men. St. Kitts & Nevis asserted themselves in the midfield but the equaliser eluded them with Mauritius holding on to their lead at half-time.
St. Kitts continued applying the pressure in the second half but Tiran Hanley only managed to head it over the bar in the 47th minute. The attempt on their goal shook up the Africans with Mauritius coming close to putting the game to bed. Jacelyne’s shot was saved by the outstretched hand of Jeffers while Justin headed it over the bar.
Tishan Hanley got a golden opportunity but like his brother earlier he failed to put in the back of the net. St. Kitts’ search for a goal continued as Mauritius took advantage of the open spaces to hit on the counter. Chiffone blasted it wide in the 79th minute just before Sarah’s dipping shot was tipped over by Jeffers in the 84th minute.
Finally in the 87th minute the elusive goal arrived as Kimaree Rogers put it past the onrushing goalkeeper to bring things on level terms. Rungassamy could have won the game for the Mauritians late into added time but his attempt flew over as the game ended in a draw.
India are scheduled to lock their horns with St. Kitts & Nevis at the same venue on August 24 in the third match of Tri-nation International Football Series, which will also decide the winner of the tournament.