And the Falls Continue: Manchester United out of FA Cup

K ShakranSenior Analyst IMarch 8, 2008

In yet another FA Cup stunner, Portsmouth left heavy favorites Manchester United in total dismay after midfielder Sulley Muntari's penalty kick gave his team a 1-0 win.

Throughout the whole game, Manchester United was the side most likely to take the lead.  But luck and the post were in favor of Portsmouth in the end.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Carlos Tevez, and Michael Carrick all missed goalbound opportunities that would have proved enough to advance Manchester to the semi-finals.

Tevez had a shot headed off the line by Pompey defender Glen Johnson with goalkeeper David James well off his line.  Ronaldo—who has scored 30 league and cup goals this season—then missed two easy chances, shooting well wide and heading over from close range.

Substitute Carrick missed an even easier chance when he got past James in the 70th minute.  But Sylvian Distin got back to tackle the midfielder as he tried to force the ball over the line and it stayed out.

But why didn't Manchester United try to equalize right after the goal?

Well, it's simply because bad luck struck when goalie Edwin Van der Sar suffered a groin injury in the first half and did not come out of the dressing rooms in the second half.  He was obviously replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak, United's substitute goalkeeper.

More bad luck?  There sure was.

Kuszczak was sent off for tackling Portsmouth's striker Milan Baros as he went for an empty goal.  With Van der Sar already off, that meant United did not have another goalkeeper to replace him, so Rio Ferdinand (Manchester's premier defender) stood as goalkeeper for United.

He put his gloves on but unfortunately was unable to stop Muntari's superb penalty kick.

Portsmouth advance to the semi-finals of the FA Cup after their unlikely victory over the Red Devils.