Pompey end drought with point

Tino Costa and Sergio Canales believe Valencia’s UEFA Champions

League clash with Paris St Germain remains finely poised after the

first leg of their last-16 encounter.

Los Che conceded twice in the opening 45 minutes at the Mestalla

on Tuesday, leaving them with it all to do if their European

adventure is to carry them any further.

They were, however, able to grab a late lifeline through Adil

Rami and saw PSG talisman Zlatan Ibrahimovic dismissed in the dying

seconds – meaning he will be forced to sit out the return date in


Costa feels a quarter-final spot is still up for grabs, with

Valencia having battled bravely to find a route back into the


He said: “We gave our all tonight but it was not to be. It cost

us an awful lot of effort to create danger. The truth is it was a

hard game.

“As we all know, in football anything can happen and with that

goal at the end the atmosphere in our dressing room was that bit


Canales also feels that there is still all to play for heading

to the Parc des Princes, saying: “It’s a bad result for us but we

have hope.

“We knew they had quality up front and they showed that.

“There is still a lot in this tie and, even though we know it

will be difficult, we will look to score early over there to give

ourselves a chance.”

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The point, only their fourth from a possible 60, kept them above

bottom-club Pools in the League One table.

Pools beat Pompey at Fratton Park just two weeks ago but they

failed to find a way through a packed and effective rearguard

despite endless pressure in the second half.

Pompey’s Hartlepool-born winger Adam Reed had the game’s first

chance, shooting low across goal after seven minutes.

The home side, for all their pressure, had to wait until the

43rd minute to test goalkeeper Simon Eastwood, when Charlie Wyke

fired low.

Pools midfielder Jack Baldwin’s burst into the area saw him fire

low across the face of goal with Eastwood beaten, before his low

20-yard snap shot fizzed wide.

James Poole had two late chances for the home side but saw his

efforts charged down.

At the other end, Reed’s counter-attack could have brought an

injury-time winner but Peter Hartley cut out the shot.

Pools made it four games without defeat but they remain 11

points shy of safety at the bottom.