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Mikel, Moses and Omeruo make it to the Africa Cup of Nations final

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Steve Haag

Chelsea's Nigerian contingent have advanced to the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations final after demolishing Mali 4-1. After they beat the Ivory Coast in their quarterfinal match, there was never any chance of John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses coming home early -- beaten semifinalists have a third place game on Saturday -- so it was relaxing to be able to cheer them on without knowing that a good result for the Super Eagles would actually be a negative one for the Blues.

And it was a very, very good result, with the possible exception of Moses being forced off in the 53rd minute, which looked like a precautionary measure more than anything else. Moses played brilliantly, earning the assist on the first goal after making a fool of Adama Tamboura before crossing for Elderson Echiejile, and he also made the second after a stupendous run and through ball led, eventually, to a Brown Ideye goal.

Mikel, meanwhile, notched his third assist of the tournament with a deft pass to Ahmed Musa on the hour mark and generally orchestrated Mali's downfall by playing teasing balls to the flank and behind their rather disorganised back line, while Kenneth Omeruo was once again a major force in the Super Eagles' defence.

The trio (hopefully Moses is back) will play either Ghana or Burkina Faso on Sunday at 6:00 pm GMT (1:00 pm EST, 11:30 pm IST). With any luck, they'll be able to bring home some silverware, but getting this far is already a pretty impressive achievement.


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