Portsmouth beats Tottenham to reach FA Cup final
Portsmouth reached the FA Cup final by scoring two extra-time goals to beat Tottenham 2-0 on Sunday, a day after the 2008 winners were relegated from the Premier League.
Frederic Piquionne broke the deadlock in the ninth minute of extra time, and former Spurs midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng added another from the penalty spot 18 minutes later at Wembley Stadium.
It will be a remarkable conclusion to a miserable season for debt-ridden Portsmouth, which became the first Premier League team to seek bankruptcy protection last month and has a court-appointed administrator trying to find a buyer for the club.
"This season encapsulates just about every emotion you can have as a footballer and today has been absolutely superb," said goalkeeper David James, who was the only remaining player in Sunday’s starting lineup from the 2008 team that won the title.
Beating former manager Harry Redknapp’s Tottenham will result in Portsmouth receiving 900,000 pounds ($1.4 million) in prize money, not to mention what is raised in ticket revenue from the semifinal.
Portsmouth’s FA Cup win two years ago under Redknapp – the club’s first trophy since 1950 – led to a financial implosion due to overspending on players.
Drastically cutting the squad couldn’t prevent Portsmouth entering financial administration and a nine-point deduction. Relegation to the League Championship was confirmed Saturday after West Ham’s victory over Sunderland ended any faint hopes of survival.
Tottenham profited most from Portsmouth’s meltdown, signing Redknapp in 2008 and numerous players, including strikers Jermain Defoe and Peter Crouch.
Neither striker, though, provided much threat for fifth-place Spurs, who are in the running for a Champions League, against their last-place opponents.
"It was a blow being relegated on Saturday, but every single player in that changing room deserves to have won today," Portsmouth midfielder Hayden Mullins said. "We’ve been written off all season and to give the fans something like this is magic."