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
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
“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.