Nigeria hammered Mali 4-1 to reach the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final
Posted: 6 February 2013 Time: 18:54
Nigeria hammered Mali 4-1 at the Moses Mabhida Stadium on Wednesday afternoon to reach the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations Final on Sunday at Soccer City.
The Nigeria goals were scored by Elderson Echiejile, Brown Ideye, Emmanuel Emenike and Ahmed Musa. The Mali goal was scored by Cheick Fantamady Diarra.
Nigeria settled the quicker of the two teams, though it was Mali who threatened an early goal when Molla Wague’s header from a corner kick flashed just wide of the target in the 12th minute, while Momo Sissoko shot just over the top from long-range less than 60 seconds later.
John Mikel Obi opened up Mali’s defence in the 15th minute with a long ball that allowed Emmanuel Emenike to sprint in behind and get a low shot on target, but goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa made a good save with his feet. Seven minutes later Mikel sent a powerful volley just wide.
Nigeria scored in the 25th minute thanks to some great play down the right flank by Victor Moses. The Chelsea attacker twisted and turned his way past Adama Tamboura before providing a low cross that Elderson Echiejile turned into the net with a diving header.
The Super Eagles scored again five minutes later with a penetrating run down the right flank by Emenike, who provided a low cross that was turned into the net by Brown Ideye from close-range 2-0.
In the 44th minute Nigeria scored again with a bit of luck when a free-kick was teed up for Emenike to strike – his shot ricocheted off the legs of Sissoko, completely wrong-footing the goalkeeper and finding its way into the back of the net.
In the 60th minute Ahmed Musa made it 4-0 when Mikel played a perfectly-timed pass for substitute Musa to spring Mali’s offside trap, before coolly slotting the ball through Samassa’s legs.
Mali pulled a goal back in the 75th minute when Cheick Diabate set-up fellow substitute Fantamady Diarra to at least put Mali on the score sheet at 4-1.