Seychelles advanced to the semifinals of the Bangabandhu Gold Cup following a 2-2 draw against Mauritius in the final Group B fixture, which was marred by scuffles between the players of the two sides after the final whistle at the Bangabandhu National Stadium yesterday.
The draw saw both sides end on one point each, but the former confirmed their last-four by virtue of better goal-difference. Seychelles had lost 3-1 against Burundi while Mauritius lost to Burundi 4-1. Seychelles will face Palestine in the first semifinal tomorrow.
The derby between the two Indian Ocean nations proved to be a feisty affair which ended with the Mauritius players chasing Seychelles goalkeeper Ian Ah-Kong after the final whistle before match officials intervened even though a couple of Seychelles players were assaulted in front of their dugout.
“It was derby between the two sides but what happened was bad,” Mauritius coach Fransisco Filho said at the post-match conference.
“Seychelles and Mauritius are close friends and they speak the same language. They might have exchanged words on the ground and it is unfortunate the way the match ended,” said Seychelles coach Ralph Jean Louis.
Earlier, Seychelles took a two-goal lead effortlessly within 30 minutes as Gervais Waye-Hive slotted home a cutback from Brandon Labrosse in the 19th minute before Perry Moniaie doubled the lead availing a square-pass from Labrosse in the 28th minute.
Mauritius staged a strong fightback after the break to reduce the deficit in the 68th minute, with substitute Alex Jason Ferre heading home a Pascal Damien corner home before Adrien Francois levelled the margin in the stoppage time of the second half after Mauritius squandered at least three close chances following dismissal of a Seychelles player.