Portsmouth back in FA Cup final after 69 years

Portsmouth reached the FA Cup final for the first time in 69 years on Saturday when a 54th minute goal from Nwankwo Kanu gave them a 1-0 semi-final win over West Bromwich Albion at Wembley Stadium.

The Premier League team's slender victory over their Championship (second division) opponents ended the chance of this year's final being the first to be contested by two teams from outside the top flight since league football started in England in 1888-89.



Portsmouth will now play either Cardiff City or Barnsley, who meet in an all-Championship semi-final on Sunday, in the final at Wembley on May 17.



West Brom, who were the better team for much of the first half, went close to an equaliser when Robert Koren hit the bar after 75 minutes, but Portsmouth held on to reach the final for the first since they won the cup for the only time in 1939.



With so much at stake for both clubs who were chasing a rare appearance in the showpiece of the English game, the match was a typically tense semi-final that only really came to life in the second half.



Portsmouth, who had largely been outplayed in the opening 45 minutes, broke the deadlock against the run of play when West Brom failed to deal with a long, speculative ball played deep into their box by Glen Johnson. Milan Baros collected the ball between his chest and upper arm then turned and fired in a low shot which goalkeeper Dean Kiely failed to hold.



As the ball ran across the face of the goal Zoltan Gera attempted to clear the ball to safety but could only find Kanu who made no mistake from three metres out to score against his former club.



Baros then had a great chance to wrap up the match for Pompey after 66 minutes but squandered his effort and was substituted five minutes later.



West Brom went forward in search of an equaliser and almost drew level when Koren's well-struck 20-metre shot flew back off the bar with 15 minutes to play.



NO THREAT



Neither side posed any real attacking threat in a poor first half, although West Brom, seeking a place in the final for the first time since they won the FA Cup in 1968, looked the livelier of the two sides.



With Kevin Phillips dropping deep into midfield and both James Morrison and Gera looking to get forward when they could down the flanks, West Brom at least appeared to be looking to score wheras Portsmouth were content to absorb pressure.



Gera had the only dangerous shot on target in the opening half too, and caused some momentary panic in the Portsmouth defence when David James fumbled his well struck sixth minute shot before recovering to save it.



Portsmouth's one direct attempt of the opening half came after 30 minutes when Sulley Muntari sent a 30-metre free kick directly into Kiely's arms.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas