Mauritania national football team

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Mauritania
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Les Mourabitones
Association Fédération de Football de la République Islamique de Mauritanie
Confederation CAF (Africa)
Sub-confederation WAFU (West Africa)
Head coach Corentin Martins
Home stadium Stade Olympique
FIFA code MTN
First colours
Second colours
FIFA ranking
Current 113 Decrease 5 (12 January 2017)
Highest 85 (December 1995)
Lowest 206 (November 2012 – January 2013)
Elo ranking
Current 124 Steady (7 January 2017)
Highest 127 (28 May 2016)
Lowest 175 (27 November 1993)
First international
 Malagasy Republic 5–1 Mauritania Mauritania
(Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire; 25 December 1961)
Biggest win
 Mauritania 8–2 Somalia 
(Beirut, Lebanon; 27 December 2006)
Biggest defeat
 Guinea 14–0 Mauritania Mauritania
(Guinea; 20 May 1972)

The Mauritania national football team (French: Équipe de Mauritanie de football; Arabic: منتخب موريتانيا لكرة القدم‎‎) nicknamed Les Mourabitones, is the national team of Mauritania and is controlled by the Fédération de Football de la République Islamique de Mauritanie and is a member of the Confederation of African Football. They have not qualified for the FIFA World Cup or Africa Cup of Nations. However, in the Amilcar Cabral Cup, a regional tournament for West Africa, Mauritania came fourth in 1980 on hosting the competition. The national football team of Mauritania were later runners-up in 1995, losing on penalties to Sierra Leone after the final finished 0–0.

History[edit]

1963–80[edit]

Mauritania played its first match after independence from France on 11 April 1963, against Congo Kinshasa (also making their debut) and lost 6–0.[1] The match was held in Dakar, Senegal as part of the L'Amitié tournament between African sides. It also saw the debuts of Chad, Liberia and Niger. Mauritania lost its three other matches in the tournament: 2–0 to the Ivory Coast, 4–0 to Tunisia and 7–0 to Congo Brazzaville.

Mauritania's first goal and avoidance of defeat came four years after their debut, in 1967 with a 1–1 draw away in Tanzania. This was their first match since the L'Amitié tournament in 1963.

Mauritania entered their first African Games qualification campaign, in an aim to reach the 1973 finals in Nigeria. They were drawn in a group against Mali and Guinea in Guinea. The first game was lost 11–0 to Mali, and on 20 May Mauritania lost 14–0 to Guinea. Mauritania did not qualify.

In May 1976 Mauritania entered qualification for the football at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Canada. They were drawn against neighbouring Mali in a two-legged qualifier. The first leg was lost 6–0 away on 1 May, and the second leg was lost 1–0 at home on 18 May. Mali did not qualify for the finals.

Mauritania's first entrance into World Cup qualification was an attempt to reach the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina. In March 1976 they were one of four countries put into two preliminary matches at the start of the African qualification campaign. Mauritania's preliminary was a two-legged match against the Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso) and they drew the first match 1–1 away in Ouagadougou on 13 March. This was their first competitive avoidance of defeat, and their first avoidance of defeat since 1967. On 28 March, Mauritania lost their home leg in Nouakchott 2–0 and the Upper Volta advanced 3–1 on aggregate.

On 12 October 1980, seventeen years after their first game, Mauritania won for the first time by beating Mali 2–1 at home in a qualifier for the African Cup of Nations.[2] Mali won 3–2 on aggregate having won the first leg 2–0.

1998 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Mauritania entered qualification for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, which was their first entry in twenty years and second overall. Again, they were drawn to face Burkina Faso in a two-legged preliminary. The first leg was played at home in Nouakchott in front of 15,000 people on 31 May 1996, one day before any other matches in the round. The match finished 0–0.[3] The second leg was played at the Stade du 4-Aout in Ouagadougou on 16 June 1996 in front of 13,000 people. Burkina Faso won 2–0 to advance to the final group phase.

2002 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Mauritania entered the qualification for the 2002 FIFA World Cup and were placed in a preliminary against Tunisia, who had qualified for the previous tournament. On 7 April 2000 they hosted Tunisia at the Stade Olympique in Nouakchott. A crowd of 10,000 saw Tunisia win 2–1 with second-half goals from Radhi Jaidi and Hassen Gabsi.[4] In the second leg on 22 April 2000, Mauritania were beaten 3–0 at the Stade El Menzah in Tunis. The match was watched by only 3,000, despite a capacity of 45,000 in the ground.[5] Tunisia won 5–1 on aggregate and later qualified for the finals in South Korea and Japan.

2006 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

Mauritania were drawn with Zimbabwe in the preliminary of the African section of the 2006 FIFA World Cup qualification. On 12 October 2003 they lost the away leg 3–0 at the National Sports Stadium in Harare in front of 55,000 people.[6] In the home return at the Stade Olympique on 14 November 2003, Mauritania scored twice in the opening ten minutes to win 2–1, their first victory in a World Cup match. However, Zimbabwe advanced 4–2 on aggregate.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification[edit]

The African qualification process was altered for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Only the six lowest-ranked nations played a preliminary, a selection which for the first time did not include Mauritania. Mauritania played in Group 8 of the second qualifying round against Rwanda, Morocco and Ethiopia, and started with an away match at the Stade Regional Nyamirambo in Kigali, Rwanda on 31 May 2008. They lost 3–0 in front of 12,000 people.[7] The first home match was on 7 June at the Stade Nacional in Nouakchott against Morocco. The Moroccans scored two in each half before a late penalty by Dominique da Silva of Mauritania made the game 4–1.

On 13 June 2008 Mauritania hosted Ethiopia at the Stade Nacional and lost 1–0 after an injury-time winner from Saladin Said. On 22 June Mauritania lost 6–1 in the away match versus Ethiopia at the Addis Ababa Stadium. The Ethiopian forwards Fikru Tefera and Andualem Nigussie scored two goals each in a match which also saw Ba Yaoub of Mauritania sent off after 37 minutes, conceding a penalty to Fikru. The game was 1–1 at half time.[8] In September 2008 Ethiopia were expelled from the tournament due to government interferences in their football association and all of their results annulled.

Only 1,000 people saw Mauritania's next game at the Stade Nacional as they were beaten 1–0 by Rwanda on 6 September with a late goal by Bobo Bola. Mauritania finished their group campaign at the Stade Moulay Abdellah in Rabat, Morocco. Like the home game against the Moroccans, Mauritania were 4–0 down but scored the last goal, this time by Dahmed Ould Teguedi. Although the Moroccan stadium had a capacity of 52,000, only 1,472 saw the match. [9]

2015 Africa Cup of Nations qualification[edit]

Mauritania beat Mauritius 1–0 in the first leg of a preliminary round qualifier for the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations in Nouakchott. SC Bastia's midfielder Adama Ba scored the only goal midway through the first half.[10] The return leg in Curepipe ended 2–0 in favour of Mauritania. Scorers were Demba Sow and Moulaye Ahmed Bessam.[11]

In the first round, first leg match, Mauritania beat visitors Equatorial Guinea 1–0 in Nouakchott. The two sides headed into the break scoreless in their match played at Office du Complexe Olympique de Nouakchott. Hosts Mauritania broke the deadlock in the 76th minute through their Tunisian-based striker Ismaël Diakité. In the return match Equatorial Guinea beat Mauritania 3–0 in Malabo.[12] Equatorial Guinea won 3–1 on aggregate. However, on 3 July 2014, the CAF announced that Equatorial Guinea were disqualified for fielding the ineligible player Thierry Fidjeu in the tie, and as a result, Mauritania advanced to the second round.[13] Equatorial Guinea later qualified for the final tournament as replacement hosts.

2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualification[edit]

The draw put Mauritania in group M with South Africa, Cameroon and Gambia. The team lost their first match against Cameroon 0–1 thanks to a last minute goal by Vincent Aboubakar. They won their next game home in a 3–1 victory against the South African team in Nouakchott.

In the 26th of March 2016, Mauritania won 2–1 against Gambia in Nouakchott before drawing 0–0 against the same team four days late in Banjul, the Gambian capital. Mauritania will next face Cameroon in Nouakchott in June 2016 before playing their last qualification match away against South Africa in September of the same year.

Competitive record[edit]

Results and fixtures[edit]

2015[edit]

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the friendly match against Tunisia on 15 November 2016.[14]
Caps and goals updated as of 6 October 2016 after the game against Canada.[15]

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1GK Boubacar Saleck Saladihne (1997-12-31) 31 December 1997 (age 19) 2 0 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina
1GK Mohamed Abdellahi Jeddou (1990-04-10) 10 April 1990 (age 26) 0 0 Mauritania ASC Tidjikja
1GK Ahmed Belkeir 0 0 Mauritania ACS Ksar

2DF Mohamed Wade (1985-12-31) 31 December 1985 (age 31) 24 0 Mauritania FC Nouadhibou
2DF Abdoul Ba (1994-02-08) 8 February 1994 (age 22) 19 0 France Lens
2DF Aly Abeid (1997-12-11) 11 December 1997 (age 19) 14 2 Spain Levante Youth
2DF Moustapha Diaw (1996-12-31) 31 December 1996 (age 20) 14 0 Mauritania ASAC Concorde
2DF Sally Sarr (1986-05-06) 6 May 1986 (age 30) 2 0 Switzerland Luzern
2DF Bakary N'Diaye (1998-11-26) 26 November 1998 (age 18) 2 0 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina
2DF Harouna Sy (1991-12-31) 31 December 1991 (age 25) 1 0 France Marseille Consolat
2DF Ahmed Ahmedou (1993-08-27) 27 August 1993 (age 23) 1 0 Spain CD Tháder
2DF Diadié Diarra (1993-01-23) 23 January 1993 (age 23) 0 0 France Gueugnon

3MF Taghiyoulla Denna (1986-06-15) 15 June 1986 (age 30) 25 4 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina
3MF Abdoulaye Sileye Gaye (1991-09-13) 13 September 1991 (age 25) 22 0 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina
3MF Khassa Camara (1992-10-22) 22 October 1992 (age 24) 21 0 Greece Xanthi
3MF Hacen (1997-12-31) 31 December 1997 (age 19) 20 0 Spain Atlético Levante
3MF Diallo Guidileye (1989-12-30) 30 December 1989 (age 27) 14 1 France Nancy
3MF Mohamed Yaly Dellahi (1997-11-01) 1 November 1997 (age 19) 13 1 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina
3MF Moussa Samba (1988-12-30) 30 December 1988 (age 28) 11 1 Mauritania Tevragh-Zeina

4FW Ismaël Diakité (1991-12-13) 13 December 1991 (age 25) 29 3 Saudi Arabia Al-Feiha
4FW Boubacar Bagili (1994-12-07) 7 December 1994 (age 22) 16 5 Mauritania ACS Ksar
4FW Mamadou Niass (1994-06-04) 4 June 1994 (age 22) 14 2 Lebanon Al-Salam
4FW Mohamed Soudani (1995-09-17) 17 September 1995 (age 21) 2 0 Tunisia US Tataouine
4FW Mohamed M'Bareck 0 0 Mauritania ASAC Concorde

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for Mauritania in the last 12 months.

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
GK Brahim Souleymane (1986-12-30) 30 December 1986 (age 30) 5 0 Mauritania ACS Ksar v.  South Africa, 2 September 2016
GK Sikhou Sylla 0 0 France FC Gobelins v.  Gambia, 29 March 2016

DF Oumar N'Diaye (1985-07-22) 22 July 1985 (age 31) 21 1 France Vannes v.  South Africa, 2 September 2016
DF Demba Sow (1993-07-03) 3 July 1993 (age 23) 9 1 France Gonfreville v.  Gabon, 28 May 2016
DF Hamza Ould Jawar (1995-07-11) 11 July 1995 (age 21) 2 0 France Caen v.  Gabon, 28 May 2016

MF El Hassen Teguedi 1 0 Mauritania ASC Tidjikja v.  Canada, 6 October 2016
MF Houssen Abderrahmane (1995-02-03) 3 February 1995 (age 21) 1 0 France Raon-Étape v.  Canada, 6 October 2016

FW Moulaye Ahmed (1987-12-04) 4 December 1987 (age 29) 28 9 Algeria CS Constantine v.  South Africa, 2 September 2016
FW Ely Cheikh Voulany (1988-12-31) 31 December 1988 (age 28) 17 2 Oman Al-Nahda v.  South Africa, 2 September 2016
FW Sidi Moctar Salem (1989-12-31) 31 December 1989 (age 27) 2 0 Mauritania ASAC Concorde v.  Canada, 6 October 2016
Notes
  • INJ Player withdrew from the squad due to an injury.
  • RET Player has retired from international football.
  • DEC Player has refused to join the team after the call-up.
  • SUS Suspended from the national team.
  • PRE Preliminary Squad.

References[edit]

External sources[edit]