Writer: SFC Forever
Date:Sunday April 11 2010
Portsmouth broke free for the day from the worries of the season that they have had to endure. The fear of financial collapse has been there for months and yesterday the club realised the truth about their playing fate for this season. Relegation being confirmed with West Ham winning at home to further draw away from the drop zone.
None of this mattered to the blue hordes who came to cheer on their heroes. The Pompey Chimes could be heard loud and clear through out the game as the team was cheered on with a fervour seldom seen anywhere let alone at Wembley.
For the normal length of the game Spurs edged it with possession and shots at goal. This though soes not show the true fact that Pompey had three really good chances to score with Frederic Piquionne missing them all.
As time ran out it began to look as if Pompey were running out of steam. Spurs got more and more on top with Ricardo Rocha and Mokoena holding firm with desprate resolution. Peter Crouch was becoming more dangerous and on a couple of occasions came close to adding a finishing touch.
Extra time was slow to start with but nine minutes into extra time the deadlock was broken. This time as a run of the mill free kick came into the box Dawson the Spurs centre back slipped and in a flash Piquionne had grabbed the opportunity to slip the ball under Gomes and into the back of the net.
Pompey's joy was unbounded as they celebrated the cruel misfortune for Dawson. Their joy lasted mere moments before a Bale cross was met by Crouch who despatched the ball into the net. The goal was disallowed though due to a push by Kranjcar.
This was yet another refereeing decision that will cause many an argument as to it's validity. The decision did look wrong but there was some doubt. Right or wrong the goal didn't stand and Pompey could breathe again.
Spurs were now throwing everything at Pompey and it looked inevitable that they would score. The second half of extra time started and spurs kept pressing desperately for the equaliser.
Three minutes from the end it was game, set and match. Pompey broke free with Dindane outpacing Palacios before being wrestled to the ground. Even though he got the ball Palacios was booked for the foul and the penalty was given.
Prince Boeteng duly beat the dive of Gomes and the joyful pompey fans sang their hearts out. Pompey probably deserved the win because they did have the best chances though Spurs edged the attempts numerically.
There will be a debate about the penalty given and the goal disallowed. Both were debatable but neither was clearly right or wrong. Spurs may have been a little unlucky but god did Pompey fight. They ran themselves into the ground to stem the superior skills of the Spurs.
Ricardo Rocha was awarded the man of the match nomination. His was a brave match and he fully deserved the verdict.
Congratulations Pompey. You have defied all logic and keep surprising us neutral football supporters. I look forward to our two teams renewing our rivalry soon, because a club with this much fight will never die.
Date:Sunday April 11 2010
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