Nigeria entered the semifinal motivated by a victory over Ivory Coast's star-filled squad in the quarterfinals, while Mali eliminated host nation South Africa.
Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi, who captained the team which won the title in 1994, knew the Mali players well after coaching the team from 2008-10, including during an African Cup of Nations.
Keshi is trying to become the first black African coach to win the cup since Ivory Coast's Yeo Martial in 1992. Kwesi Appiah will also get the chance this year if his Ghana team advances to the final.
Nigeria dominated African football throughout the 1990s but hasn't been successful since. Now bidding to win the title for the third time - and first since 1994 - it has not reached the final since 2000.
Nigeria cruised to a 4-1 win over Mali on Wednesday to reach the Africa Cup of Nations final for the first time in more than a decade.
In this year's, we can see that Nigerians have really main to take the trophy home and to bring joy to their fans and to their country.
Nigerians will now face the Burkinabe's on Sunday evening to battle for the winning position.