Kanu wins FA Cup for Portsmouth

Nigerian striker scores winner to return cup to Pompey for first time in 69 years.

    Portsmouth controlled the match against Cardiff to take the FA Cup at Wembley [AFP]


    Nigerian striker Nwankwo Kanu has ended Portsmouth's 69-year wait for a second FA Cup win with the deciding goal in a 1-0 victory over Cardiff City at Wembley stadium in London.

    The 31-year-old capitalised on a mistake from Cardiff City goalkeeper Peter Enckelman to land the decisive blow in the 36th minute.

    Enckelman fumbled a cross from Portsmouth’s John Utaka and Kanu, who has made a career out of scoring some spectacular goals, simply the tapped the ball into the net.

    The goal would have come as a relief for the former Arsenal striker after he missed a great chance 15 minutes earlier.

    After Ghanaian midfielder Sulley Muntari had cut the ball across to Kanu, he beat a Cardiff defender and the goalkeeper only to hit the ball against the post.

    Missed chance

    Cardiff missed an excellent chance to equalise when Kevin McNaughton shot wide after Paul Parry had opened up the defence down the left.

    Kanu took advantage of an error by Enckelman
    to score the winning goal [AFP]

    Although he was at a stretch, the Scottish international really should have done better with the goal at his mercy.

    The Bluebirds thought they had their equaliser in first-half stoppage time when defender Glenn Loovens looped the ball into the back of the net.

    But referee Mike Dean ruled that the Dutchman had handled the ball in the lead up.

    The second half failed to live up to the standard set by the first. Portsmouth started to control the match, with Lassana Diarra being particularly effective in midfield.

    It was not until late in the second half that Cardiff were able to pressure Portsmouth, with Loovens heading just over the bar.

    There were some more anxious moments in injury time for Harry Redknapp's men, but Cardiff simply could not find their cutting edge and Pompey held on for the win.

    Portsmouth's victory gives them automatic entry into next season's Uefa Cup competition.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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