In a match for the Portuguese second league, Moreirense FC faced off against CD Mafra. Moreirense lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation, while Mafra played in a 3-4-3. The first half was slow, with only a few opportunities for either side, but Moreirense was always closest to scoring. Yet, right before half-time, Mafra managed to break the deadlock. At the start of the second half, Moreirense earned a penalty, which they converted to equalize the score. Mafra, against the run of play, retook the lead with a great counter-attack, but Moreirense equalized again after a poor save from Mafra’s goalkeeper minutes after. The home team finally gained an advantage on the scoreboard around the 80th minute and sealed the game with another goal a couple of minutes later, settling the final score at 4-2 in Moreirense’s favour. With this result, the home side continues showing great form as they continue to top the table.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, rewatch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Côte d’Ivoire
- Age: 19
- Date of birth: 04/12/2003
- Club: CD Mafra
- Career: OS Abobo (Y), FC Midtjylland (Y), CD Mafra (L)
- Position: Centre-Back
- Preferred foot: Right
Diomande played as the central centre-back in a three-at-the-back formation for CD Mafra in an away match against the Moreirense, the leaders of Portugal’s second league. The 19-year-old stands at 1,90m with a strong build. Diomande showed good acceleration and sprint speed by quickly shortening the space between himself and the opposing attackers. He also asserted his dominance in aerial duels; however, in crossing situations, he could have been more physical and aggressive since he sometimes seemed to lose whom he was marking quite easily. Overall, the young defender showed good spatial awareness and positioning, which allowed him to make multiple interceptions throughout the match. He always seeks an opportunity to come off the defensive line and pressure his opponents quickly by anticipating their movements and receptions. Nonetheless, this also has its downsides since on a couple of occasions he got caught out of position, hence he still has some room for improvement.
The young defender seemed confident building from the back, showing a good range of resources. He tried to play passes in between the opponent’s lines, showing very good vision while doing so. His technique is good, but he still is a bit inconsistent, showing some liabilities when under pressure. In addition, after receiving a yellow card, he had a sequence of bad decisions demonstrating his youthfulness since he seemed to lose his focus for some time. On another note, he exhibited a good ability to carry the ball forward up the pitch when given the opportunity.
Diomande was very strong in defensive duels, positively using his body to gain an advantage over his opponents. As mentioned above, he makes excellent use of his speed to quickly shorten the distance to the attackers and if he can improve his timings, he will be even more efficient. On the whole, he made good use of his athletic build to deal with opponents and cover the ball when necessary, even though he could use some more positive aggressiveness at times.
Rating – A2
Diomande had a decent performance for CD Mafra in this match. His athleticism enables him to quickly pressure his opponents, allowing him to recover the ball multiple times. For most of the game, he successfully helped his team play from the back and progressed up the pitch when he had the chance. However, there are still some areas for improvement in his game regarding his positioning, timings and passing consistency. All in all, he is a very promising young centre-back with a high ceiling for potential, and by next season I can see him playing in a first-division club outside the top five leagues.