2013 AFCON Semi-Final
Result: Mali 1-4 Nigeria
Date: 6 February 2013
Venue: Moses Mabhida Stadium
The Super Eagles of Nigeria soared into the final of the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations with an emphatic 4-1 win over Mali in the semi-finals on Wednesday.
The Eagles of Mali created the first two chances of the game with Molla Wague heading a corner well over before Khalilou Traore flashed a header across goal in the 12th minute.
The Super Eagles responded in the 15th minute when Brown Ideye latched onto the ball in the area but his strike was saved by the feet of Mamadou Samassa and the rebound fell just behind Emmanuel Emenike.
Emenike then almost got through but a last-ditch challenge from Mahamadou N'Diaye saw the ball poked from his toe at the vital moment.
The opening goal then arrived in the 25th minute when the brilliant Victor Moses made space to cross and his curling pass was met at the far post by Elderson Echiejile who finished with a stooping header from close range.
Five minutes later Nigeria would be celebrating again when Ideye produced a superb flicked finish after Emenike had drilled in a cross after latching onto a pass from Moses.
Sunday Mba could have made it 3-0 in the 33rd minute when he was sent through on a counter but he attempted to lob the goalkeeper who was having none of it.
A third goal would arrive on the stroke of half-time though when Emenike rifled a free-kick at goal and it took a wicked deflection which left the goalkeeper rooted.
Mali responded in the second period with Keita firing a shot just wide from 12 yards out, but Nigeria would wrap up the result on the hour mark when substitute Ahmed Musa slid a cool finish home after being played in on goal.
Musa had come on after Moses went down with a foot problem, and Nigeria did not want to risk leaving him on the pitch.
Musa showed great skill to get in again but a tight offside call denied him what would have been a spectacular goal.
Mahamadou Samassa had a chance for Mali in the 72nd minute but after racing down the left, he was unable to beat the goalkeeper.
Mali would pull one goal back in the 75th minute though when Cheick Diarra side-footed home after excellent work from Diabate.
Emenike had two chances to add a fifth for the Super Eagles but he first poked a shot off target before thundering a long-range effort just wide.
Diarra also had two chances in stoppage time for Mali, but neither effort hit the target as Nigeria secured their place in the final and will meet either Ghana or Burkina Faso.
Standard Bank Moment of the Match: Victor Moses dazzled his defender with some superb skill to work space before firing a perfect cross to the far post for the opener as he set Nigeria on their way to a comfortable win.
Mali: Mamadou Samassa, Fousseiny Diawara, Adama Tamboura, Mahamadou N'Diaye, Molla Wague, Momo Sissoko, Mahamane Traore, Kalilou Traore, Seydou Keita, Modibo Maiga, Mahamadou Samassa.
Nigeria: Vincent Enyeama, Elderson Echiejile, Kenneth Omeruo, Godfrey Oboabona, Efe Ambrose, Sunday Mba, Ogenyi Onanzi, John Obi Mikel, Victor Moses, Brown Ideye, Emmanuel Emenike.