Final destination for Nigeria

Nigeria sealed their place in the Africa Cup of Nations final after brushing aside Mali with a convincing 4-1 victory in Durban on Wednesday.

Last Updated: 06/02/13 at 22:28 Post Comment

Nigeria: Through to Sunday's African Cup of Nations final

Nigeria: Through to Sunday's African Cup of Nations final

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

The Super Eagles, who defeated favourites Ivory Coast in the quarter-finals, had victory all but secured before half-time after netting three times in the first period through Elderson Echiejile, Brown Ideye and an own goal by Mohamed Sissoko.

Nigeria then added a fourth goal on the hour mark through substitute Ahmed Musa to end any hopes of a second-half fightback from Mali, whose late consolation from replacement Cheick Diarra was nowhere near enough to prevent a second successive semi-final exit.

The result sees Nigeria progress through to their seventh African Cup of Nations final and first since 2000, while Mali's bid to repeat their 1972 appearance in the title match goes on.

Nigeria do not have a great record in those finals, winning just two of six, but they will go Sunday's encounter against either Burkina Faso or Ghana with confidence soaring after building on their triumph over Ivory Coast with an impressive display at a rain-swept Moses Mabhida Stadium.

Mali, who knocked out hosts South Africa in the last eight, looked threatening early on but Nigeria gradually gained the upper hand and had already gone close a couple of times before Echiejile put them ahead in the 25th minute.

Chelsea playmaker Victor Moses did well down the right to create space and his cross into the middle found the unmarked Echiejile at the far post, and he stooped to head home from close range.

It was 2-0 five minutes later when Emmanuel Emenike's cross from the right was bundled home at the near post by Ideye, and a fantastic first period for Nigeria was completed in the 44th minute when Stephen Keshi's men added a third goal.

Ideye played a short free-kick to Emenike whose grasscutter looked set to be blocked by the wall, only for it to take a huge deflection off Sissoko and leave Mamadou Samassa in the Mali goal helpless.

Mali made two changes at the beginning of the second half in a bid to change the tide, but it was Nigeria's substitution that made the next telling contribution as Musa was sent racing clear from the halfway line before slotting through Samassa's legs to make it 4-0.

Diarra slotted home Cheick Diabate's cut-back to reduce the deficit but it was Nigeria who were left to celebrate at the full-time whistle.

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

W

inners: F365 for not getting so caught up in transfer deadline day, for getting rid of the ridiculous live blog and for having jobs where all they do is talk about football.

man of ire
Transfer Window Winners & Losers...

P

ictorially, this would be represented by a rotund lady, arms folded screaming, ' you been told, stay away from my man'.

mufc phil
United respond on De Gea

T

his should end the myth that only English players are over priced

cookie_monster
United wrap up surprise Martial deal

Footer 365

Barcelona: Messi will stay for life

Lionel Messi will stay at Barcelona for "the rest of his life", according to the club¿s sporting director Robert Fernandez.

Insigne to stay at Napoli for life - Agent

Lorenzo Insigne intends to end his career with Napoli, scuppering hopes Arsene Wenger might have had of bringing the striker to The Emirates.

Gradel out and now Mings gets season KO

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has confirmed that £8million summer signing Tyrone Mings will miss the rest of the season.

Mail Box

Why Aren't Manchester City Criticised More?

Manchester City aren't being criticised enough for their spending. Also, the David De Gea situation is explained in full and we have a running Winners and Losers table.

Wenger Guilty Of The Most Negligent Of Acts

Arsene Wenger comes in for a lot of Danny Welbeck based flak in the Mailbox. We also have a happy Spurs fan, and someone pleading to stop the Van Gaal revisionism.

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company