Ivory Coast coach Gerard Gili hailed his players' composure following their 5-0 thrashing of Guinea in the African Nations Cup quarter-finals on Sunday.
The Elephants, who will meet either Tunisia or Cameroon for a place in the final, struggled until Didier Drogba scored the second goal on 70 minutes.
It was then all too easy for Ivory Coast, who added three within 13 minutes through a Salomon Kalou double and a Bakary Kone goal.
"It was a very complicated match until our second goal," Gili told reporters.
"Guinea was causing us a lot of trouble and until we doubled our tally, there was a chance for Guinea to equalise in a counter-attack," the Frenchman added.
Ivory Coast opened the scoring in the 25th minute with an Abdelkader Keita goal but then failed to convert their chances, with Aruna Dindane missing an open goal after dribbling past Guinea keeper Kemoko Camara.
"Somehow, we managed to be patient and my players held their composure. They were very thorough and I want to congratulate them for that," said Gili.
"The first half was hard," said centre back Kolo Toure, who was sitting on the substitutes bench"When we were 2-0 up, it became quite easy but before that, I can tell you it was very complicated."
Toure said he should be 100 percent fit again for Thursday's semi-final in Kumasi. (Editing by Rex Gowar)