Portsmouth beats Tottenham to reach FA Cup final

Portsmouth reached the FA Cup final, scoring twice in extra time

Sunday to beat Tottenham 2-0 in a big upset. The victory came a day

after the 2008 winners were relegated from the Premier League in a

season in which crippling debt almost put the club out of

business.

Frederic Piquionne broke the deadlock in the ninth minute of

extra time. Former Spurs midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng added a

penalty kick 18 minutes later.

“This season encapsulates just about every emotion you can have

as a footballer and today has been absolutely superb,” said

Portsmouth goalkeeper David James, the only remaining player in

Sunday’s starting lineup from the 2008 team that won the title.

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant will face Chelsea, his former

team, in the May 15 final. The defending champions beat Aston Villa

3-0 on Saturday.

Portsmouth became the first Premier League team to go into

bankruptcy protection last month and has court-appointed insolvency

experts running the club while trying to find a buyer. Winning the

semifinal will provide about $3 million in prize money and

ticketing revenue.

“This is a great achievement after what’s happened this

season,” Grant said. “I remember arriving at the club one day (in

February) and being told that next week there will be no club. We

have been living on a day-to-day basis and despite this we have

reached the final.”

Portsmouth beat a Spurs team managed by Harry Redknapp, who led

it to the title on the same field two years ago. Tottenham is fifth

in the league and in the running for a Champions League spot.

Portsmouth’s relegation to the League Championship was assured

Saturday after West Ham’s victory over Sunderland ended any faint

hopes of survival.