The Super Eagles of Nigeria ran over their Malian counterparts right from the first half and secured an emphatic 4-1 victory in the first semi final of the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON.
Three first half goals from Elderson Echejile, Brown Ideye and Emmanuel Emenike; and then the icing on the cake in the second half off the boots of Ahmed Musa saw Nigeria zoom into the final of Africa’s biggest football competition for the first time in over a decade of endless tries.
Buoyed by Sunday’s win over hitherto tournament favourite, Cote d ‘Ivoire, the Super Eagles from the blast of the whistle left no one in doubt that they will jealously protect their impressive head-to- head record against the Malian Eagles.
Chelsea’s Victor Moses was at the thick of action like always and after running the show in the midfield, his cross from the right flank was well connected by left-back, Elderson Echejile, who put Nigeria ahead in the 25th minute.
Five minutes later, Brown Ideye registered his first AFCON goal when Moses, again, ran the rings in the midfield and gave a long pass to Emenike who connected Ideye who bundled the ball into the net.
Emenike scored his fourth goal at AFCON 2013 when his thunderbolt free kick was deflected into the net in the 44th minute to emerge joint highest goal scorer in the competition thus far.
With three goals in the kitty and a slight knock to Moses, Ahmed Musa was introduced and he extended Nigeria’s lead in the second half.
A late fight back by Mali saw them get a consolation goal. But it was too little too late as they again failed to make it beyond the semi-finals like the last time out in Equatorial Guinea and Gabon.
Nigeria will now face Burkina Faso, who defeated Ghana on penalties, in the final of the AFCON 2013.