Mali vs. Nigeria: African Cup of Nations Semi, Live Score, Highlights, Recap
Mali 1 (Diarra 75) Nigeria 4 (Echiejile 25, Ideye 30, Sissoko OG 44, Musa 60)
Nigeria made light work of Mali as they cruised into the 2013 African Cup of Nations Final with a 4-1 victory in Durban.
Chelsea duo Victor Moses and John Obi Mikel tormented their opponents after Mali had been the better side in the opening 20 minutes.
But Nigeria produced three goals in the last 20 minutes of the first half to effectively seal their progress to the final in Johannesburg on Sunday.
Elderson Echiejile opened the scoring in the 25th minute with a stooping header before Ideye Brown added a second five minutes later following great work by Emmanuel Emenike.
Emenike then fired in a 44th-minute free-kick which clipped Momo Sissoko and deflected past Mali goalkeeper Mamadou Samassa as Nigeria lead 3-0 at half-time.
There was concern for Nigeria as winger Moses left the field early in the second period, but his replacement Ahmed Musa added the fourth on the hour mark when he latched on to a Mikel ball.
Mali substitute Cheick Diarra grabbed a consolation with 15 minutes remaining but there was no way back for his team in a one-sided semifinal.
FT: Mali 1 (Diarra 75) Nigeria 4 (Echiejile 25, Ideye 30, Sissoko OG 44, Musa 60)
90+3: The whistle goes and Nigeria reach their first AFCON Final since 2000 and Mali are left to reflect on another semifinal defeat.
90+2: Diabate wriggles into the area before laying the ball off to Diarra inside the box, but his angled shot is just wide.
Why weren't these two on from the start of the game?
87: Emenike produces a fierce drive which flies wide, but goes to ground in the wake of the effort.
82: Joseph Yobo replaces Efe Ambrose in the Nigeria defence.
75: GOAL! Mali 1 Nigeria 4
Mali gives their fans something to cheer on a miserable day as two of their substitutes combine to claw a goal back. Diabate works space for himself on the left side of the area before pulling the ball back for Diarra to slot home his first international goal.
72: Goal scorer Ideye is replaced by Ejike Uzoenyi before a Nigeria defensive error allows Mahamadou Samassa a free strike inside the area but he hits the ball into the ground and Enyeama saves.
67: Diabate stings the hands of Nigeria goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama with a close-range effort. But Nigeria on course for their first AFCON Final appearance since 2000.
63: Musa has the ball in the net again but the effort is ruled out for offside.
60: GOAL! Mali 0 Nigeria 4
Nigeria can look forward to their final appearance now. Mikel plays the ball over the Mali defence into the path of sub Musa, who chases down on goal before slotting the ball coolly under Samassa. Musa looks to be in offside position but is given the benefit of the doubt.
56: Mali make another change with Momo Sissoko going off for striker Cheick Diabate.
54: Moses is replaced by Musa Ahmed for Nigeria.
46: Cheick Diarra replaces Modibo Maiga for Mali.
HT: Mali 0 Nigeria 3
Mali will be delighted to hear the half-time whistle after disastrous closing 20 minutes to the first half. Nigeria have been in a different class since Echiejile opened the scoring, with Moses and Mikel running Mali ragged.
44: GOAL! Mali 0 Nigeria 3
This isn't looking good at all for Mali now. Momo Sissoko is harshly adjudged to have fouled Ideye 20 yards from goal. Ideye touches the free-kick to Emenike, whose drive is deflected off Sissoko in the wall and past Samassa.
41: Mali in danger of being routed and need half-time to come quickly. They appear lost in defence and have no answer to the invention and creativity of Mikel and Moses.
33: Ogenyi Onanzi attempts to chip Samassa from distance to make it 3-0 but the Mali goalkeeper saves comfortably.
30: GOAL! Mali 0 Nigeria 2
Moses sends Emmanuel Emenike free down the right flank and his cross is met by Ideye Brown inside the six-yard box. Samassa gets a hand to the ball but it is not enough to prevent Nigeria opening up a two-goal lead.
25: GOAL! Mali 0 Nigeria 1
Victor Moses produces a fine piece of skill to get around Tamboura and create space on the right side of the area. He whips the ball across the area and Braga left-back Elderson Echiejile stoops to head home the opening goal.
22: Great strike from Mikel, over 20 yards out, has Samassa scrambling across goal, but the shot goes just wide.
21: Mali playing a more compact style against Nigeria, who are displaying more purpose to their game.
15: First Nigeria chance created by Mikel with a ball over the top to Brown Ideye but Mali goalkeeper Samassa blocks with his legs.
12: Mahamane Traore flashes a header just wide from a corner by namesake, Kalilou.
7: Molla Wague goes close for Mali with an unchallenged header from a corner inside the area, but should have got his effort on target.
Little to report from the opening moments of the game apart from a wayward Moses shot from range.
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