Nigeria routs Mali, returns to African Cup final

TALES AZZONI AP Sports Writer Published:

DURBAN, South Africa (AP) -- Nigeria cruised to a 4-1 win over Mali on Wednesday to reach the African Cup final for the first time in more than a decade.

Nigeria dominated from the start and opened the scoring with a header by Elderson Echiejile in the 25th minute. Brown Ideye added to the lead in a breakaway in the 30th and Emmanuel Emenike netted from a free kick in the 44th.

Ahmed Musa scored the fourth goal in the 60th as Nigeria ended Mali's hopes of lifting the trophy to bring joy to the fans enduring political instability and conflicts back home.

Cheick Diarra got Mali's consolation goal in the 75th.

Nigeria hadn't made it to the final since 2000 and will be trying to win the title for the first time since 1994.