Crouch hits heights to rescue Pompey

Guimaraes 2 Portsmouth 2 (aet; Portsmouth win 4-2 on aggregate)

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)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power