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Page last updated at 16:19 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 17:19 UK

FA Cup final as it happened

Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff Match report


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By Caroline Cheese

1715: The game won't live long in the memory but these celebrations might. Harry Redknapp gets his hands on his first bit of silverware at Wembley and he doesn't look like he wants to let go. I don't think the Pompey fans want to leave Wembley either. Great stuff. Unlucky Cardiff, but what a run it was. Thanks for your company - apologies again for the pesky technology breakdown.

1711: The champagne is open and the celebrations are well under way at Wembley. Lassana Diarra may be Bevo's man of the match (see 1708) but he's not yours. Your Player of the Day is goalscorer Kanu on 7.16. Still plenty of time to vote.
Rate the players

1708: "A slight mistake cost us. But we've done everyone proud. I hope we've given every club hope that they can achieve what they might have thought was impossible. I'm very proud of my players, my staff, the chairman and especially the fans. I'm sorry we couldn't see it through to the death for them."
Cardiff boss Dave Jones

1708: "The Pompey team are celebrating en-masse apart from Lassana Diarra - my man of the match - who has wandered off on his own to soak up the atmosphere. Tony Adams tracks him down to bring him back into the fold. Cardiff's players went down like flies at the final whistle but they are back on their feet now and getting the applause they have earned from their fans. Portsmouth deserved their win but the Bluebirds gave their all."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1705: And there it is. Sir Bobby Robson hands over the FA Cup and Pompey captain Sol Campbell sparks the celebrations by turning to the fans and lifting the trophy.

1704: No hanging about is there? The Portsmouth players are on their way up now, shaking hands with all sorts of well-wishers on the way.

1702: Skipper Stephen McPhail leads the Cardiff players up the steps to collect their losers' medals. The fans have all stayed behind to acknowledge a fabulous effort from their team this season.

1701: Fabulous scenes at Wembley as the Pompey fans celebrate their first FA Cup win since 1939. Victory also earns them a place in the Uefa Cup next season.

1700: "This is the best moment of my life."
Portsmouth scorer Kanu

1659: "I'm speechless for once. Harry's a legend now isn't he? Hats off to him."
Portsmouth keeper David James - twice an FA Cup final loser

1658: "Fantastic. For everybody, especially my family. The fans, the players. It's been a difficult year off the field so this is a dream come true. We're a very close family - it's for all my grandchildren and everybody. The players are all great, I love them all."
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp

1656: FULL-TIME Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff

1655: Lassana Diarra gives away a free-kick and keeper Peter Enckelman rushes up to take it. The ball comes to Roger Johnson but his effort is blocked by Glen Johnson. Almost the biggest cheer of the match as David James finally gets his hands on the ball.

1652: FOUR minutes of added time start now.

1650: The ball's bouncing around the Portsmouth penalty box, and Cardiff teenager Aaron Ramsey has a couple of half-chances. It's agonising for the Cardiff fans.

1649: "This game is like New Year. It's built up so much, you think this year will be great. Then it ends up being just as dull as the previous year."
Mike, Liverpool, via text on 81111
Mike has a point I'm afraid.

1647: Cardiff bring on Trevor Sinclair for Gavin Rae, while Kanu potters off for Portsmouth to be replaced by Milan Baros.

1647: Portsmouth have an opportunity to break but opt to pass the ball about in midfield instead. That's until Sylvain Distin decides to go on a slaloming run from defence. He's eventually upended by a well-timed Roger Johnson tackle.

1643: "Portsmouth's success this season has been built on their defence - they have conceded only one goal in their Cup run so far - and you can see why here. David James has not had a save to make since he smothered Paul Parry's early shot and with Cardiff visibly tiring now it does not bode well for the Welsh side."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1640: Cardiff win a corner and Glenn Loovens' diving header hits the turf and bounces agonisingly over. That's enough to gets the Bluebirds fans singing though. A little over 10 minutes remaining.

1639: Pedro Mendes off, Papa Bouba Diop on for Portsmouth.

1637: After a very dull spell, Cardiff are beginning to look a bit brighter but Portsmouth are so difficult to break down.

1632: Time for Cardiff to make another change as Scottish striker Steven Thompson replaces Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Thompson injured his groin last summer when he fell off a banana boat while on holiday in the US.

1631: "A brave substitution by Cardiff boss Dave Jones - Aaron Ramsey was not even born when Portsmouth goalkeeper David James made his first-team debut for Watford in 1989 but the Bluebirds have not created a clear-cut chance so far in the second half and Jones clearly believes Ramsey can spark something. They need him to, and quickly because Portsmouth have got a stranglehold on this game right now."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1630: Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp makes his first change as John Utaka is replaced by David Nugent. It's a straight swap down the right.

1627: All gone a bit quiet at Wembley. I think Cardiff are running out of ideas and Portsmouth are happy with their 1-0 lead.

1623: Here comes 17-year-old wonder boy Aaron Ramsey, replacing Peter Whittingham for Cardiff.

1621: John Utaka's attempt to hurdle one too many tackles leaves him injured. He's back up and hobbling now.

1618: Sulley Muntari's shot flies narrowly over... which leads me handily to this text: "Am I the only person to own a cat named after the great Sulley Muntari?!"

1614: Portsmouth break dangerously through John Utaka and he picks out Kanu in the box but the striker's shot is deflected behind for a corner.

1613: A few Cardiff fans are celebrating... but Roger Johnson's deflected header hits the side netting. They don't even get a corner - just to add insult to injury.

1609: The first substitution sees a new ball come on for the, er, old ball. Not sure what was wrong with it, but ref Mike Dean wasn't happy.

1605: Cardiff get the second half under way at Wemberlee. It's like missing a limb, being without 606. Once again, apologies. Clearly, technology is not feeling the magic of the Cup.

1603: "Nothing. Just keep going. We've done well in the first half, we just have to watch their set-pieces. Don't get silly, just be sensible and keep the ball."
Cup-tied Portsmouth striker Jermain Defoe on the team-talk

1556: "Judging by their chants, the Portsmouth fans to my left are planning their campaign in next year's Uefa Cup - but it might be a bit early for that yet. Pompey ended the first half on top and deserved their goal but Cardiff have shown that they are in this final on merit and will be confident they can turn this one around."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1553: "A foreign goalkeeper would have punched that," opines Lee Dixon as we watch replays of Peter Enckelman's attempted catch before the goal. Um, Lee...

1552: "Peter Enckelman had already made one mistake before the goal and you don't often get away with two and so it proved. David James made a similar mistake at the end of the half and got away with it."
BBC Sport analyst Alan Hansen

1550: HALF-TIME Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff

1548: Hermann Hreidarsson sees yellow for moaning about a free-kick. Peter Whittingham takes the set-piece which Glen Johnson squeezes out at the far post. From the corner, David James flaps and Glenn Loovens lobs the ball home - but the Cardiff man is penalised for handball. Which it was.

1547: This half has gone by in a flash. Only one minute of added time to be played.

1543: Chance for Cardiff to equalise. The Bluebirds break at pace as Paul Parry escapes down the left. He unselfishly crosses but it's just out of reach of Kevin McNaughton, who has sprinted all the way from his right-back position to support the attack.

1539: GOAL Portsmouth 1-0 Cardiff
Cardiff keeper Peter Enckelman pushes John Utaka's whipped cross into the path of Kanu, who bundles home.

1537: "Diarra has been the best player so far in my opinion. Anyone else think Wenger will regret selling him now Flamini has gone?"
Neil, Canterbury, via text on 81111

1537: Glen Johnson twists and turns on the right and his dangerous cross is punched clear by Peter Enckelman.

1535: Kanu gets a huge cheer... from the Cardiff fans as he lines up a shot from outside the box and puts it about 10 yards wide.

1532: "Portsmouth have had the best chance through Kanu, but I think Cardiff have played the better football."
BBC Sport's Mark Lawrenson

1530: Roger Johnson rises highest in a crowded penalty area to head over from a dangerous free-kick. Even stevens so far at Wembley.

1529: "The entire Pompey bench rose as one as Kanu shaped to slide that chance home - then turned head in hands once they realised he had missed it. Redknapp is still giving Joe Jordan a mouthful about it now."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1526: Cardiff win a free-kick on the left-hand edge of the box and it's pulled back low to Paul Parry, who doesn't connect well with the shot and it's easily blocked. That was a decent chance you know.

1524: What a chance. John Utaka squares a delicious ball for Kanu who takes a touch away from the defender and another to beat the keeper before knocking the angled shot against the outside of the post. Great skill from the leggy striker.

1523: "A decent start by Cardiff and they certainly don't look nervous even if their boss David Jones does. He hasn't sat down yet and is pacing anxiously around his technical area. The Wembley pitch looks slick after that rain earlier this afternoon and a few players have already slipped while trying to turn quickly - a few tackles are flying about from both teams too."
BBC Sport's Chris Bevan at Wembley

1522: Pompey midfielder Lassana Diarra shows off some lovely skills to beat a couple of challenges but he ruins it all with a wayward pass out of defence.

1519: A nervous moment for Peter Enckelman as he flaps unconvincingly at a free-kick. Sylvain Distin heads back across goal but Kanu is unable to control and Cardiff escape.

1517: Cardiff go close twice in a minute. David James is out quickly to smother Paul Parry's shot and then Kevin McNaughton's effort takes a heavy deflection and dribbles wide, with James wrong-footed.

1515: Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink attempts to chase down a pass on the right which would have put him clean through but his 36-year-old legs can't get him there and the ball goes out.

1511: Cardiff are looking to use the pace of Paul Parry at every opportunity. Decent start from the underdogs, who don't look too nervous in these opening exchanges.

1507: Apologies if you are trying to use 606. Showing all the timing of a Paul Scholes sliding tackle, it has broken.

1505: Lively start this as Kanu and Roger Johnson get involved in a bit of pushing and shoving as they wait for the long throw to come over. Cracking atmosphere too, by the way.

1504: Peter Enckelman gets an early touch on the ball as Sulley Muntari takes an audacious free-kick from about 40 yards out. Easy save. Moments later, David James is in action as Paul Parry breaks clear and the Pompey keeper does well not to concede the penalty as he pushes the ball out of harm's way.

1502: Mike Dean gets the 2008 FA Cup final under way. Portsmouth kick off.

1500: "Isn't Miss Jenkins absolutely gorgeous!?"
Anon via text on 81111

1456: Katherine Jenkins performs Welsh national anthem Land of my Fathers, or Mie Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau as I know it better, before Lesley Garrett, with backing from Harry Redkanpp, sings God Save the Queen. The Portsmouth fans boo the first one, the Cardiff fans the second. All square then.

1453: Proud managers Harry Redknapp and Dave Jones lead the teams out. Sir Bobby Robson gets a huge cheer as he is introduced to the two teams.

1449: Lumps in throats time as the English-Welsh duo of Lesley Garrett and Katherine Jenkins perform Abide With Me. Jenkins' microphone fails halfway through but it doesn't really matter, the crowd fill the gap manfully.

1446: The BBC pundits all go for Portsmouth to win - all except Gary Lineker, who backs Cardiff just because no one else is.

1443: So it's Rochdale who will face Stockport or Wycombe in the League Two play-off after a 5-4 penalty shoot-out win over Darlington. The Quakers had led on aggregate until the 78th minute. What drama.

1438: No sniggering at the back. Here's Portsmouth assistant Tony Adams on Glen Johnson: "I think Glen needed to be loved. I don't think Jose fancied him at Chelsea. That happens."

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Diarra, Kranjcar, Muntar, Utaka, Mendes, Kanu. Subs: Ashdown, Diop, Baros, Nugent, Pamarot.
Cardiff: Enckelman, McNaughton, Johnson, Loovens, Capaldi, Whittingham, Rae, McPhail, Ledley, Parry, Hasselbaink. Subs: Oakes, Purse, Sinclair, Thompson, Ramsey.

1428: "Suits and haircuts... what a career."
Pompey keeper David James

1425: Big news from Scotland... the SPL title is no longer in Rangers' hands. Their 1-1 draw against Motherwell means they are three points adrift of Celtic with a game in hand but an inferior goal difference. Two games left for Walter Smith's boys. Meanwhile Rochdale and Darlington head for penalties in the League Two play-off semi-final.

1422: "The entire Cardiff squad is out on the pitch now and, with Portsmouth's players also warming up, that has brought the stadium alive. The Pompey end to my left is almost full and although there are many Bluebirds fans yet to take their seat, the ones that have all seem to have brought yellow and black flags with them, making a brilliant contrast with the Pompey fans."
BBC Sport's Christopher Bevan at Wembley

1417: "I'll be concentrating on the game. I'm focused on winning. I want to go on holiday in the summer having won the Cup. It's been a tough season and that would be a big boost for everyone."
Pompey boss Harry Redknapp on what he'll be thinking when he leads the team out

1408: "For the neutrals, we need an early goal for Cardiff. That would make Portsmouth come out and attack."
SydneyToon on 606
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1405: "Re 1353: I wouldn't hold your breath on Pompey being exciting today, this will be the 4-5-1 formation they play away from home to stifle attacks. I think the form of Glen Johnson will be important today. John Utaka has been very inconsistent whereas Johnson has been a revelation this season and provides good ammo from the right, and should do a good job on the dangerous Joe Ledley."
Lanktony on 606
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1402: Here's our man Bevo again... "The Cardiff goalkeepers - Michael Oakes and Peter Enckelman - are the first players out on the Wembley pitch. They run out to warm up to loud cheers from the Cardiff fans and - predictably - boos from the Portsmouth contingent."

1358: Our man in the middle today is Mike Dean, who was due to officiate in the 2006 final. However, when Liverpool got there, it was decided that the Wirral-based ref would have to stand down as it "might lead to comment and debate". in February 2007, Dean sent Harry Redknapp to the stands for foul and abusive language.

1353: Some early team news now from Portsmouth. Assistant coach Tony Adams says they'll be playing 4-3-3 with Kanu supported up front by John Utaka and Niko Kranjcar. Adams also says he doesn't know if he'll still be at the club next season.

1350: Congratulations Stevie357 on 606. The last time two English managers contested the FA Cup final was in 1991 when Tottenham, led by Terry Venables, beat Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. And get this, in that final, only one player who started was not from the home nations or Republic of Ireland and that was Tottenham keeper Erik Thorstvedt.

1347: The Portsmouth players are out on the pitch having a little look round. David James looks very dapper in his Jeff Banks-designed suit.

1345: Let's have a quick quiz shall we? When was the last FA Cup final featuring two English managers?

1342: Some good omens for Portsmouth. They haven't needed a replay to get to the final, they've conceded one goal and they've beaten West Brom and Preston - all things that happened when Pompey when they last won the Cup in 1939.

1336: David Perkins' screamer for Rochdale makes it 3-3 on aggregate in the League Two play-off semi-final second leg. A little over 10 minutes remaining.
Rochdale v Darlington text commentary

1332: So Cardiff will start with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Paul Parry up front, with 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey on the bench. As I said before, no Robbie Fowler. If Cardiff win, Ramsey will be the youngest-ever FA Cup winner.

1331: "I've got to wish Cardiff all the best for the game even though I'm a Swans fan! I hope the head-slappers do Wales proud!"
Stan, S Wales, via text on 81111

1329: "I would rather be watching the FA Cup final than doing an essay. Come on England."
Nicola, Hove, via text on 81111
Girls, football... I don't know.

1326: Cardiff boss Dave Jones reads out his team and it does not include Robbie Fowler. So no Cup fairytale for the former Liverpool striker, who has been out for five months with a hip injury.

1324: "It doesn't always pay to be favourite, as you know yourself."
Cheeky Gary Lineker risks the wrath of two-time election loser Neil Kinnock

1322: "The Bluebirds and the European flag are the only blue things in my life."
Ex-Labour leader and Cardiff fan Neil Kinnock on BBC1

1321: "I don't really look back. All I'm interested in doing is making sure I do my job well, look after my family well, and if I do that, I hope we are blessed with winning something."
Cardiff boss Dave Jones

1316: "Harry (Redknapp) will be nervous. He certainly sounded it when I spoke to him this morning. The biggest thing is whether he can get the players right after that poor run in the league. But I feel that they're strong enough to win."
Former Pompey assistant coach Jim Smith on BBC1

1310: "Who remotely cares about this game and does anyone think that this game is being overhyped? All the build-up to a low-quality match. Yes I know I'm being ignorant and arrogant... but I definitely also know that it's what everyone is thinking..."
deperer on 606
Join the debate on 606
May I refer you to the 1234 entry?

1300: The turnstiles open and a few hardy souls take their seats. With two hours to go until kick-off, I fear cramp might be an issue - especially if this goes to extra-time.

1257: "It's such an open game today. You look at Portsmouth and they haven't played well for a few weeks and you can't just switch it on when you feel like it."
Mark Lawrenson on BBC1

1253: It's 1-1 in the League Two play-off semi-final second leg between Rochdale and Darlington. The Quakers lead 3-2 on aggregate in the battle for a place at Wembley.
Rochdale v Darlington text commentary

1247: Our man Chris "Bevo" Bevan is at Wembley today. Here's his first missive: "It's difficult to tell the two sets of fans apart. They're all wearing blue and shouting Blue Army. On the tube on the way here, some Portsmouth fans gave me a rendition of all their songs. Actually, I don't think it was for my benefit. I think they were trying to impress a young lady in the same carriage."

1242: "Just flown in from Spain where I have been on hols with my dad (Billy Wilson, ex-Pompey left-back). On my way to the stadium, play up Pompey!"
Scott on Gatwick Express, via text on 81111

1234: I agree with stein_ccfc. There have been so many memorable games in the FA Cup this season. Anyone caught moaning about the lack of 'big four' clubs in today's final should be made to sit through a recording of the 2007 final instead.
2007 final as it happened

1231: "This has been the best FA Cup I can remember. I've enjoyed it more than the Premier League this year. Those who say the FA Cup has lost its magic are clearly deluded."
stein_ccfc on 606
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1229: We've got a downpour at Wembley.

1225: Twice an FA Cup final loser, Alan Shearer says Portsmouth will win - although he wouldn't bet against Cardiff. Ex-Arsenal defender Lee Dixon says Pompey will win 3-1.

1224: "Everyone always says you should enjoy FA Cup final day, but I can tell you it's only enjoyable if you win."
Alan Shearer on BBC Radio 5 Live

1222: Cardiff scored an early victory in the FA Cup final as their official song - Bluebirds Flying High - reached number 15 in the charts. It's written and sung by James Fox, who was the UK's entrant in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004. Pompey don't have an official song although there are ropey re-writes of James' Laid and Louis Armstrong's What A Wonderful World going about.

Pompey fan John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood
Pompey fan John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood
1209: Just to clear this up, I'm sure John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood (see 1115) will be at Wembley today but he won't be allowed to bring his bell... or his bugle... or his drum.

1202: "Anyone else get woken up by an air horn and people shouting 'play up Pompey'...?"
Ali_Dia_Returns on 606
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I wish. I was awoken only by a pesky squirrel jumping on my roof.

1159: Now then, fancy dans of the world, perhaps cricket is more your bag. If so, why not join Thomas Fordyce MA for England v New Zealand? England are doing quite well I think.
Tom on cricket

1156: "Re 1140: Get back to your Penguin Classics and stick to Withnail and I, football doesn't need fancy dans like your sort."
Taipeipompey on 606Join the debate on 606

1154: "Hi Caroline, do you have any personal thoughts on the playing of Land of My Fathers before God Save the Queen later?"
Chacor on 606Join the debate on 606
My personal thoughts are that a (Welsh) colleague in my office has promised to stand and sing the Welsh national anthem. This can only be a good thing.

1145: Lots of chat in today's newspapers about Cardiff opting to travel to London... on the train! The players - including Robbie Fowler and Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink - had to carry their own bags! According to a club spokesman: "The journey took about 90 minutes and they loved it." I bet they had a good wash afterwards though.

1140: "To watch or not to watch, that is the question... Caroline, what advice coudst thou give for one such as myself: I do confess that I enjoy watching the noble sport that is football, yet my mind misgives: I am in a most fearful state, for I cannot decide between the excitement and gallantry of an FA Cup final and the piteous overthrows of English Literature revision. Some counsel, Cheese, I do beseech thee!!"
Red_Rampage on 606
Join the debate on 606
You what?

1134: Team news... Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp will have David James and Sol Campbell available today so all he's got to decide is whether to go 4-4-2 with Milan Baros and Kanu or leave the Nigerian striker on his own up front. Paul Parry is likely to return for Cardiff in place of Trevor Sinclair in the only change from the team that beat Barnsley in the semis.

1123: "My brother has been wanting a Pompey/Cardiff draw in every round so far since his girlfriend and her family are huge Cardiff fans and we're all Pompey fans! Who'd have thought we'd clash in the final!? So good luck to both teams (except Cardiff!)"
Ben in Bristol via text on 81111

1115: Of course the man and his bell to which I refer is John Anthony Portsmouth Football Club Westwood. He's the one with all the tattoos who never wears a shirt. And apparently, he and his band won't be allowed at Wembley.

1108: I'm just looking at pictures of Wembley Way now. Plenty of Pompey fans milling about on an overcast day in the capital. They might need their flags to keep 'em warm. No sign of that man and his blessed bell yet.

1100: Hello. It's FA Cup final day and the anticipation is building ahead of the big game between Manches... no, wait... Liverpo... no, hang on... well, look at that, it's Portsmouth v Cardiff. What were the odds? 500-1 as it happens.

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