Portsmouth win the FA Cup after 69 years and it was all down to manager Harry Redknapp waiting all those years as a manager, player and fan to partake in an FA Cup final.
Portsmouth just managed to nick a 1-0 victory over Welsh team Cardiff City in a fingernail and toenail-biting match, which, let me tell you, was in no way one-sided.
More goals may have been scored if Jermain Defoe had played. On his debut, he scored. The following match, he also scored and so on. Unfortunately though, despite the measly amount of minutes he was let on for Tottenham Hotspur in some of their FA Cup matches, he was still considered "cup tied." Therefore, under FA regulations, he could not take part in the match.
Early in the game, "King" Kanu (as stated on the cap he wore during the celebrations on winning the cup) had a golden opportunity to score the first goal. He put his heart and soul into weaving in and out of the Cardiff defence only to hit the left post and stumble onto the pitch somewhat ashamed.
Kanu was denied a second time thanks to great defensive play by Kevin Rae.
Muntari’s free kick went across goal and met the head of Sylvan Distin. Kanu was about to latch onto that but Rae got the ball clear of goal.
Both goalkeepers did exceedingly well for most of the game. Enckelman kept most of Portsmouth’s attacks well-contained while on the other end of Wembley Stadium, David James showed yet again his eligibility to be England’s number one keeper by means of his intelligence and quick decision-making.
But Enckelman "dropped the ball," so to speak, at 37 minutes. A low cross from Utaka wasn’t caught or obstructed successfully. Kanu was breathing down defenders’ necks the whole time. He tapped the rebounded ball into the net.
Cardiff nearly put themselves back into the match. Parry crossed to McNaughton, who as a right-back made a lot of ground unmarked, who managed to make a shot but the ball went well wide, so David James didn’t have to exert himself.
1-0 to Portsmouth at half time.
On the 57thminute, Muntari tried a very ambitious shot which went just over the bar. Portsmouth were still turning the thumbscrews on Cardiff.
Nugent replaced Utaka for Portsmouth after 69 minutes (strangely enough the exact number of years it’s been since Portsmouth last won the FA Cup. An omen maybe?) and nearly scored after he had been on the pitch for just three minutes.
He executed a long-distance strike which was tipped round by Enckelman; down but not out.
Cardiff still showed the Welsh dragon spirit and stayed strong throughout.
Many chances were created but sadly for them, never used to their full potential. The Portsmouth back-four were rocks.
Kanu was quite rightfully hailed as man of the match for the one goal that had put an end to the 69 long years of their FA Cup final absence and put their name on that cup.
It also rounded off Harry Redknapp’s services as player and manager. A present maybe. I’m sure he’ll be around for another few seasons. After all, Portsmouth are in Europe next year…
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