Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi warned that his team was still far from greatness, though the potential was there after they reached their first Africa Cup of Nations final in 13 years on Wednesday.
A stunning first-half display helped the Super Eagles demolish Mali 4-1 in their semifinal at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban.
Elderson Echiejile, Brown Ideye, and Emmanuel Emenike were all on target as the two-time former champions led 3-0 at the interval, before Ahmed Musa scored on the hour mark to stretch the advantage to 4-0.
Mali, huge underdogs for the clash, eventually replied through Cheick Fantamady with 15 minutes left, but it proved a meagre consolation as they were outdone by a rival team full of energy and pace.
Keshi was a player the last time Nigeria won the trophy back in 1994, captaining a team that included future stars like Daniel Amokachi, Jay-Jay Okocha, Sunday Oliseh, and Finidi George.
...As He Explains Quit Threat
Head coach of the Nigerian national team, Stephen Keshi has moved to explain the reasons behind his declarations that he may leave his post after the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations in South Africa.
The 'Big Boss' shocked the football world while making the announcement at a press conference in Durban on Tuesday but he has now moved to explain his comments.
"It doesn't really matter what people think about what Stephen Keshi is doing. The most important thing is what I am doing here and passing on to my team. If back home in my country, they don't appreciate what I am doing with the team, so be it," Keshi explained.
It was widely reported that Keshi fell out with top officials of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) following the Super Eagles' 1-1 draw against Burkina Faso in their opening game of the competition with the former national team captain threatening to walk out on the team.
Keshi also hinted in a thinly-veiled remark that there is no love lost with the NFF officials.