Portsmouth join last eight

Pompey win through, while the Boro and the Blades are forced to wait.

Pain and joy in injury time: Portsmouth players celebrate as Preston are vanquished

Portsmouth needed an injury-time own-goal to beat stubborn Preston 1-0 to reach the quarterfinals of the FA Cup, while Middlesbrough were held to a 0-0 draw by Sheffield United.

Portsmouth scored when Preston midfielder Darren Carter kicked the ball into his own net during a scramble in the box after a corner kick from Niko Kranjcar.

Portsmouth last reached the quarterfinals in 1992, when it eventually lost to Liverpool in the semifinals. It won the trophy in 1939.

“I thought we’d be lucky to get an opportunity to have another game but the cup’s about winning and however you do it, last minute, that’s what counts,” said Portsmouth goalkeeper David James, who saved a penalty kick.

After their scoreless draw Middlesbrough and Sheffield United head to the Riverside on February 26 for the replay.

Manchester United, Chelsea, Bristol Rovers, Barnsley, Cardiff and West Bromwich Albion are already in the quarterfinals. The draw is set for Monday.

Preston was frustrated by the 37-year-old James, who is also his country’s first choice goalkeeper.

James dived to his right to save a penalty kick from Simon Whaley in the 59th minute.

The penalty was given after Portsmouth defender Sylvain Distin fouled Billy Jones.

James also dived to keep out a shot from Neil Mellor in the 74th.

Preston is 21st in the League Championship compared to Portmouth’s eighth place in the Premier League.

One of the founding members of the Football League in 1888, Preston has won the FA Cup twice, the last time in 1938, and was runner-up five times.

It also reached the fifth round in 2000.

Chris Morgan out jumps Middlesbrough’s Afonso

Teams rue missed chances

Middlesbrough missed their own chance to win its game in injury time when Emanuel Pogatetz had a header blocked.

Sheffield United, which is 16th in the League Championship, had the better chances.

Matt Kilgallon forced Middlesbrough goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer into a save in the fifth minute, Jon Stead narrowly headed wide in the 27th, and James Beattie hit the post with a free kick near the end of the first half.

Stephen Quinn sent a shot just over the bar for the Blades in the 74th.

Middlesbrough’s best efforts were in the second half, when it forced Sheffield United goalkeeper Patrick Kenny into two saves within a minute.

Kenny stopped Mido’s overhead kick in the 58th and David Wheater’s header from the subsequent corner.

Stewart Downing was then close for Boro with a volley and Fabio Rochemback also sent a shot wide.

Sheffield United was playing under manager Kevin Blackwell for the first time after he was named manager for the rest of the season after Bryan Robson quit Thursday.

“Without a doubt I feel we can win the replay, I believe we can win every game,” Blackwell said.

The Blades are a four-time winner of the FA Cup, the last in 1925.

It also was runner-up twice, in 1901 and 1936, and reached the semifinals in 2003, when it lost to Arsenal.

Middlesbrough, which is in 12th place in the Premier League, has never won the FA Cup, but reached the 1997 final, losing to Chelsea 2-0.

It also lost to Arsenal in the semifinals in 2002 and West Ham in 2006.

The biggest casualty on Saturday was Liverpool, which was ousted by lower-league team Barnsley at Anfield.

Liverpool conceded a 90th-minute goal to lose 2-1.

Manchester United easily defeated Arsenal 4-0 at Old Trafford, with the Gunners finishing with 10 men after Emmanuel Eboue was sent off in the 49th, while defending champion Chelsea beat League One club Huddersfield 3-1.

Source : News Agencies


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