FA Cup Semi 2008_Portsmouth_West Brom

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The FA Cup Semi Final

April 2008

The FA Cup Semi Final
West Bromwich Albion 0 - 1 Portsmouth
Attendance: 83,584

The sun streamed over the pitch as the two teams came out to a thunderous reception from the Stadium that was heaving with fans for the first FA Cup Semi Final at the new Wembley Stadium.

West Brom started brightly with two early efforts, bith from Kevin Phillips that a surprise early goal from the Championship side looked like it was on the cards. Pompey did eventually start to hold on to their possession and when Milan Baros was left free on the flank, it was only his poor finish that denied him a goal. Harry Redknapp's side began to show their class and continued to test the West Brom defence, and as the teams went in for half time, Portsmouth will have felt relieved to still be on level terms, but confident that they would assert their authority in the second half.

Minutes into the second half, Portsmouth struck gold. A brilliant save from Dean Kiely from a Milan Baros attempt was cancelled out after Zoltan Gera's poor clearance fell to Kanu to tap in. The Portsmouth fans, already on their feet were exultant at Kanu's goal and their cheers echoed around the stadium.

The West Brom 'keeper made a couple of risky ventures away from his goal as a confident Portsmouth side continued to advance. Kiely made a brilliant and important save when Milan Baros fired a close range attempt on goal. West Brom responded with a spell of possession which saw Zoltan Gera and Robert Koren both go close, but despite this flurry of resurgence they failed to find the back of the net.

With Kanu substituted at 81 minutes, Pompey scented victory and 13 minutes later it was theirs. The Baggies, deservedly disappointed as their hardworking team and fans were denied their fairy tale final.

For the first in 69 years, Portsmouth are through to The FA Cup Final.

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