Why Mustapha Yatabare is One to Watch for Mali
If Mali are to return to the semi-final of the Africa Cup of Nations, they will need their hitman Mustapha Yatabare to be at the top of his game.
The French-born striker is expected to lead the attack when Mali partake at their ninth AFCON tournament. Such a role can only be delegated to a player like Yatabare, who has already provided a glimpse of his prowess in finding the back of the net.
In front of the Bamako fans, the 28-year-old scored in a 3-2 defeat to Ethiopia, but must have celebrated more when he struck in the 2-0 victory over North Africa giants Algeria in the 2015 AFCON Qualification Group stage phase last year.
Those two goals ensured Yatabare finished as joint-highest Mali scorer alongside Bakary Sako in that successful campaign.
Furthermore, two goals in 11 appearances for his new side Trabzonspor is something Kasperazack can be content with, especially as in-form Bordeaux player Cheick Diabate is ruled out of the competition with injury.
And if the recent statistics are not satisfying, one must remember that Yatabare scored the opener as Mali forced a memorable comeback from 4-0 down to level 4-4 against hosts Angola in the opening match of the 2010 AFCON. He is a man who knows how to get it done on Africa’s grandest stage.
With the experience earned from tournaments past, and with support from his sibling Sambou, Sako and Seydou Keita on the pitch, there are enough reasons to look out for Yatabare when Mali line-up against Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon and Guinea in Malabo and Mongomo.