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The Chelsea midfielder says that Wednesday’s emphatic victory over Mali was a result of their previous triumph over the Elephants in the last eight

Nigeria midfielder John Obi Mikel has described Wednesday’s big defeat of Mali as being due to the confidence earned from their victory over tournament favourites Cote D’Ivoire in the quarter finals.

The Super Eagles trounced Mali 4-1 inside the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban to get to their first final since 2000.

“The game against Ivory Coast gave us a little bit of confidence so we decided to build on that instead of dropping from our performance. We kept our cool and did exactly what we did against Ivory Coast,” Mikel said after the game.

Nigeria’s run in the tournament has been facilitated by coach Stephen Keshi who was the captain when the Eagles last won the tournament in 1994. He will now hope to be the second man to win the tournament as player and coach when Nigeria take on Burkina Faso at the weekend in Johannesburg.

“Keshi is a lucky man,” Mikel said. “All we have to do on Sunday is go to the final and play our game. It’s still going to be a difficult match. We will just go out there and do our best, hopefully our best will be enough.

“We want Nigerians to keep praying for us and hopefully we will bring the trophy home,” the Chelsea midfielder concluded.

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