CHAN 2016 Semifinal:

Thursday, Febraury

Mali vs. Cote D’Ivoire – Kigali Regional Stadium (5:00 p.m, EAT)

The Mali versus Cote D’Ivoire CHAN 2016 semi-final duel is dubbed the ‘The West African derby’.

Stakes are high for either side to present a highly competitive side in a game anticipated to be very physical as well as tactical.

Kawowo Sports’ David lsabirye looks at the individual key battles that will spice the menu at Nyamirambo stadium.

Yannick Zakri Krahire (Cote D’Ivoire) Vs Diarra Sekou (Cote D’Ivoire):

Yannick is arguably the most technically gifted player at the CHAN 2016 tournament.

He oozes with confidence of a newly born prince.

Comfortable at dribbling, crossing and shooting, the Asec Mimosa midfielder will be a great test to Diarra Sekou and many of his teammates.

Should Sekou play at his A game and block the tricky player, then they would have neutralized a potential threat.

Yves Bissouma (Mali) Vs Yace Marius Gregore Okpekon (Cote D’Voire):

Either midfielders are tall, have the ball sense and can execute that killer pass at any given time.

The success of the two arch rivals will heavily hinge on the movement of both players.

Whereas the Africa Sports D’Abijan winger has the extra calories for a box to box playing format, Bissouma is blessed with the positional discipline.

Hemann Junior Djobo Atcho (Cote D’Ivoire) Vs Lassana Samake (Mali):

Atcho Djobo is the smallest player in the tournament.

The Association De Tanda winger is a darling to the crowds for his pace, craftiness and folding of the playing shorts.

His speed will for sure terrorize Lassana Samake, but should Mali as a team get a quick remedy to put Atcho under check, then, they are most likely to smile at the end of the day.

Djedje Franck Guiza (Cote D’Ivoire) Vs Marius Assoko Hamed (Mali):

Djedje is a fast, tall and intelligent forward. On the other hand, Assoko is a fast and good game reading defender.

Whoever excels on the day will surely carry the overall bragging rights.


Djibril Diallo (Mali) Vs Michel Dussuyer (Cote D’Ivoire):

The final battle will be on the two sides’ technical benches.

Djibril at the helm of Mali’s success thus far is a locally based coach locking horns with a French born national Dussuyer.

Dussuyer has vast knowledge of African football and has faced such scenarios in his glittering career.

Both coaches are excellent at game reading and making changing swiftly.

The better coach will be judged right from the team named, tactical approach, the changes communicated as the game is going by and the overall game reading to make the necessary changes here and there.

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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