Portsmouth 2 Vitoria Guimaraes 0: Diarra and Defoe earn advantage for trip to Portugal

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The Independent Football

Jermain Defoe missed a penalty after Lassana Diarra broke the deadlock in the 39th minute, but scored Portsmouth's vital second goal which should ensure their progress to the group stage of the Uefa Cup after a first-leg win against the Portuguese club Vitoria Guimaraes at Fratton Park last night.

Pompey made a business-like start with Diarra in the midfield and Defoe up front on the left, causing Vitoria's defence all manner of problems. Diarra tried to raise the tempo but was hauled down by Roberto, who collected the first booking of the match in the 17th minute.

Guimaraes were beginning to feel the pace and Pompey looked like taking the lead a minute later when Peter Crouch found Defoe, whose instant right-foot shot was brilliantly tipped over by the Vitoria goalkeeper Nilson. From the resultant corner, Nilson managed to knock the ball away, but only as far as John Utaka, who hit a fierce drive which appeared to hit a post before the goalkeeper scrambled it away.

However, Nilson could do nothing about Portsmouth's opener in the 39th minute. Diarra came in off the left to play a one-two with Defoe before scoring from close range.

Within three minutes the referee Karl Kircher ruled Sol Campbell had pulled down Roberto from Yves Desmarets' free-kick but Joao Fajardo blazed the penalty over the crossbar. Relieved still to be in front, Pompey took their turn to squander a chance three minutes after the break when the centre-back Moreno brought down Defoe with a trip. But Defoe saw Nilson keep it out at full stretch.

It could have been worse two minutes later. Roberto was allowed free passage between Campbell and Sylvain Distin in the inside-right channel but dragged his shot wide.

Pompey went forward again, Traoré sweeping down the right and delivering a fine cross to the back post for Crouch to direct his header straight into Nilson's arms. But it was the left-wing source which led to Pompey doubling their lead on the hour with Defoe slotting in his third goal in two games after Traoré and Nadir Belhadj linked down the flank and the Algerian provided the perfect cross to punish slack Vitoria marking.

Portsmouth: James; Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Belhadj, Utaka, Diarra, Davis, A Traoré, Crouch, Defoe. Substitutes: Ashdown, Kaboul, Hreidarsson, Diop, Mvuemba, Little, Kanu.

Vitoria Guimaraes: Nilson; Gregory, Danilo, Momha, Andrezinho, Joao Alves, Wenio, Fajardo, Moreno, Desmarets, Roberto. Substitutes: Nuno Santos, Amaral, Sereno, Carlitos, Tiago Ronaldo, Lamelas, Coral.

Referee: K Kircher (Germany).