Crouch hits heights to rescue Pompey
Guimaraes 2 Portsmouth 2 (aet; Portsmouth win 4-2 on aggregate)
Friday 03 October 2008
Peter Crouch scored twice in extra-time to complete a rousing Portsmouth comeback last night and steer Harry Redknapp's side safely through a testing away leg into the group stages of the Uefa Cup.
The visitors had conceded two goals in the space of 15 first-half minutes to leave them on the brink of elimination having arrived in Guimaraes with a comfortable 2-0 lead. The Brazilian Douglas and Joao Alves struck in the first half to put the Portuguese side two up on the night. Despite dominating the second half, Portsmouth could not make the vital breakthrough and were forced to go to extra time.
Cue Crouch: the England striker rose at the far post in the first period to convert Glen Johnson's cross and decide the tie. The former Liverpool man then shot fiercely home from the edge of the box in the second period as the home side were caught by a devastating break.
"We let ourselves down in the first half," said Crouch. "We weren't good enough – but in the second half we came out and dominated. I think our fitness told in the end."
When Jermain Defoe caught centre-back Gregory in possession in only the second minute it looked as though Portsmouth might grab the early goal to put the tie to bed, but the England striker failed to find the run of Crouch with his pass.
The visitors paid the price when Douglas drilled a shot into the net beyond David James in the 19th minute, with Portsmouth having made a mess of clearing a corner after Danilo's header was deflected behind. Sylvain Distin and captain Sol Campbell both failed to cut out the ball to the Brazilian who found ample space in the area to fire it home.
The visitors' advantage was totally wiped out after 32 minutes when Joao Alves' 35-yard shot from a short free-kick fizzed past the unsighted James.
Portsmouth dominated the game after half-time, although James had to make a save on 62 minutes when Douglas let fly from outside the area. The long diagonal ball to Crouch's head looked the obvious route and for much of the second period Pompey had to become predictable. But Crouch's aerial advantage was soon to tell.
Guimaraes (4-4-2): Nilson; Luciano Amaral (Fajardo, 79), Roberto (Carlitos, 62), Wenio, Gregory; Danilo, Douglas, Desmarets, Andrezinho; Flavio Meireles, Joao Alves. Substitutes not used: Serginho, Moreno, Tiago Ronaldo, Momha, Jean Coral.
Portsmouth (4-4-2): James; Johnson, Distin, Campbell, Pamarot; Davis (Mvuemba, 73), Diarra, Hughes, Armand Traore; Crouch, Defoe. Substitutes not used: Ashdown, Kaboul, Hreidarsson, Little, Kanu, Belhadj.
Referee: Selcuk Dereli (Turkey)
Latest in Sport
Arsenal transfer latest: Arsene Wenger set to sign...no one on transfer deadline day as manager heads to Rome to referee charity match
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal offloads fringe players as he looks to the long term
Radamel Falcao transfer latest: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City linked with blockbuster move
Tottenham to offer Andros Townsend to Southampton in £14m deadline day bid for Jay Rodriguez
Tottenham vs Liverpool player ratings: Who was the star man? Raheem Sterling? Alberto Moreno? Or new-boy Mario Balotelli?
- 1 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 2 Perez Hilton apologises for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo leak
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
- 5 Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain