It should have been a closer match, but all the talent disparity between Nigeria and Mali was there for everyone to see from the first minute of the semifinal, and led by a fantastic and in form Victor Moses & Emmanuel Emenike led the Super Eagles to their first Africa Cup of Nations final in over a decade.
Mali did show some strong defending throughout the tournament, but completely fell apart in the first half, conceding three goals in 20 minutes to end yet another semifinal with disappointment.
Uwa Elderson was the first to go on the scoresheet after fantastic work by Moses on the right wing, leaving Adama Tamboura completely dizzy from his trickery, before setting up the left back who plays for Braga in Portugal with the opening goal in the 25th minute.
It was only three minutes later when Brown Ideye from Dinamo Kyiv made it 2-0 with a similar play, breaking into the Mali box unmarked, while Emmanuel Emenike set him up from the right wing.
Emenike’s free kick in the 44th minute was pretty much the end of the story for Mali, as hit shot was deflected off Mohammed Sissoko, making it 3-0 before half time. For now, the goal has been given to Emenike, making it his fourth in the competition, and him the top scorer so far.
The second half was mostly garbage time, but young Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow) was left alone by the terrible Mali defending to add a fourth goal. Cheick Fantamady Diarra scored a consolation goal for Mali.
Nigeria now wait for the winner in the Burkina Faso – Ghana semifinal to see who will be their rivals in the final match to be held on Febraury 10 at the FNB stadium in Johannesburg.