ESTAC Troyes – Match Report vs QRM (02/09/23)

Struggling but talented City Football Group side Troyes faced relegation competitors Quevilly – Rouen Métropole (QRM) in the fifth round of Ligue 2. It was a difficult match for Troyes as they found themselves 2-0 down within 30 minutes, but eventually were able to mount a 2-2 comeback. Crucial to the success of the comeback were Abdoulaye Kante, who scored the deflected equaliser, and Kyliane Dong, who was the team’s dynamite in attack.


  • 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

Abdoulaye Kante 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French/Ivorian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 09/07/2005
  • Club: ESTAC Troyes
  • Career: Montfermeil (Y), ESTAC Troyes (Y), ESTAC Troyes
  • Position: Defensive Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Kante plays as a defensive midfielder in a 4-1-4-1, with left back Ismael Boura inverting in possession to join him as an 8. When playing with his back to the opposition goal Kante was limited to, but also proficient at, playing one touch passes. With either foot he was able to redirect the ball. He did receive and turn but his turn is slow, and could be exploited in the future. Kante should add more ways to receive facing forward in the build up. Surprisingly when facing forward he plays even better, with the willingness to carry forward and quick decision making on his passes. He was able to impact the game much more when facing the play. He likes to have the ball and play either long passes over the block or medium range passes around the block and to the winger. Rarely did he attempt a through pass. His technique for those passes is good for his level but could use some improvement if he were to step up, his long balls suffer from too much side spin.

Out of possession Kante has good instincts but falters in the more technical and physical aspects. He has great positioning as he somehow always ends up collecting the second balls, but when he has to press he can be let down by his pace (he’s neither slow nor fast, but he is powerful in his run), a lack of reach, or just being turned easily by physically superior attackers. In 1v1s he could improve his technique, as he was square at times, generally he seems to be a better defender centrally than out wide. In set pieces he has no role, as he is neither the taker or an active participant. His equalising goal was a well struck shot that got deflected on its way to the goal

Rating — A2

The goal for Kante should be to play for a Ligue 1 club next season, or a higher placed Ligue 2 club. He has some work to do both in the gym and on the football pitch. He lacks mobility in key areas for a midfielder, and should work on his explosiveness. Ball work should be focused on refining his passing technique, so that eventually he could be the main set piece taker for his team (provided he doesn’t have a growth spurt), as well as working to increase his goalscoring numbers.

Kyliane Dong 

Player Profile:

  • Nationality: French/Cameroonian
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 27/09/2004
  • Club: ESTAC Troyes
  • Career: ESTAC Troyes (Y)
  • Position: Right Winger
  • Preferred foot: Right

Dong started the match as a right winger in a 3 man frontline, then moved to the left in the 70th minute. He was extremely effective on both wings, applying his skillset in different ways on either side. The performance he put on was worthy of a man of the match award as he was a threat in every way, whenever he picked up the ball, dribbling past opponents and slipping the ball through to attackers.

When playing on the right Dong tends to go on the outside, where his blistering pace meant he could slip through and put in a cross. On the left he is just as direct but in a different sense, he loves to cut inside early and attack the space, even off the ball he makes more runs on the left. He can dribble the ball at high speeds while maintaining control of it and making good, fast decisions on where to dribble to. When receiving the 1v1 in a static position he does well enough to manipulate the defender using his body cues. He also has a creative eye for a pass, with good weight on his short ground passes as well as an ability to play them with his left foot. When dribbling he likes to have his head up often, always scanning and reassessing the situation. He also likes to combine with his teammates, utilising give and goes and some flair to break through defences.

His 5’10 wirey but athletic frame is perfect for a modern winger, it allows him to wriggle through crowds of opposition and twist and turn with ease. He also couldn’t be easily shoved off the ball which meant that QRM had to resort to fouling him on a few occasions. I’d have liked to see him shoot more once he comes inside. His lower starting position as well as his tendency to cut inside early means he resorted to passing more often than being in a good position to shoot off the dribble.

Rating — A2

Dong is a great player with many tools to impact the game from different positions. I believe he even has the ability to play as a “10”, reminiscent of Angel Di Maria in midfield. His time at Troyes should help him get consistent minutes on both wings, honing his craft before a step up to a Ligue 1 club in the summer.

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