Porterfield, the former Chelsea manager, has been in charge of Zambia's fortunes since they lost most of their national squad in an air crash last year. He has rebuilt the team to great effect, and a marvellous reward for his efforts is in sight, if his side can dispose of Mali on Wednesday.
Senegal were seen off by a spectacular goal from Evans Chakala, who plays for a South African club, Chatsworthy Rangers. His fierce, dipping shot from 25 yards in the 38th minute was too much for Cheick Seck, the Senegalese goalkeeper.
Mali are competing in their first finals since 1972, when they finished as runners-up. On Saturday a splendid 68th-minute header from Soumaila Traore brought them a 1-0 quarter-final win over Egypt in Tunis.
Efan Ekoku, the Norwich City forward, made his debut for Nigeria in Saturday's other quarter-final, against Zaire in Tunis, but he made little impression and was substituted after an hour. Rashidi Yekini scored both goals in Nigeria's 2-0 success, the first a superb half-volley and the second a penalty after he had been brought down by Zaire's goalkeeper, Bilolo Tambwe, who was sent off.
Nigeria's opponents on Wednesday will be the holders, Ivory Coast, who beat Ghana 2-1 in Sousse last night. Joel Tiehi, the Le Havre forward, struck a 10th- minute penalty over the bar but scored from 15 yards 20 minutes later, after Ghana's goalkeeper, Edward Ansah, had spilled a cross. Charles Akunnor equalised 13 minutes from the end with a 30-yard shot from an indirect free-kick, but Ivory Coast snatched the winner - a diving header from Abdoulaye Traore - within a minute.Reuse content