|Sunday 22nd February 2004
Fratton Park, Portsmouth
PORTSMOUTH 1-0 LIVERPOOL
|MATCH REPORT - Portsmouth 1-0 Liverpool|
Richard Hughes and Shaka Hislop were the toast of Portsmouth after the duo dumped Liverpool out of the FA Cup at Fratton Park.
Midfielder Hughes scored his first Pompey goal - a fierce 71st-minute drive - to avenge memories of one of the darkest days in the club's history.
That was when Liverpool deprived Portsmouth of an appearance in the 1992 FA Cup final with a penalty shoot-out victory in the semi-final.
But today's famous victory, which sets up a quarter-final showdown against holders Arsenal, only came after Pompey twice survived penalty dramas.
Referee Matt Messias awarded Liverpool a 49th-minute spot-kick for handball - but changed his mind after consulting his assistant Guy Beale.
The official got it wrong again 13 minutes later - penalising Matt Taylor for a brilliant tackle on Milan Baros - but Hislop saved Michael Owen's weak effort from the spot.
It was the perfect way for keeper Hislop, who had joked on the eve of this game he had never saved a penalty, to celebrate his 35th birthday.
Portsmouth had started in lively fashion, with Eyal Berkovic forcing Reds keeper Chris Kirkland into action with a first-minute free-kick from an acute angle.
Play ebbed from end to end but without any real momentum to the game.
Messias angered home fans by booking Nigel Quashie for a lunge on Emile Heskey after the official had inadvertently diverted the ball into the path of the England striker.
Jamie Carragher sent over a decent delivery from the left but Sami Hyypia flattened his team-mate Bruno Cheyrou when attempting to head the ball goalwards and left him needing treatment.
Liverpool fashioned the game's first genuine goalscoring opportunity in the 36th minute. Cheyrou's smart lay-off to Gerrard put the England midfielder into space and he fed his club and country colleague Heskey, whose side-footed shot was well parried by Hislop.
The game exploded into life in the 49th minute when Messias awarded Liverpool a penalty - then changed his mind and gave Portsmouth a free-kick.
Gerrard fired a set-piece into the six-yard box from the right and the ball struck the arm of Reds substitute Milan Baros.
But Messias thought it had hit the arm of Linvoy Primus, standing next to Baros, and pointed to the spot.
Pompey's players - Berkovic in particular - were furious and besieged Messias and his assistant Beale.
And, after a 60-second discussion between the two, Messias stunned Liverpool by changing his decision.
Yakubu almost got on the end of Alexei Smertin's cross-shot then Dietmar Hamann fired over at the other end.
Arjan de Zeeuw poked a foot wide of his own goal from Anthony Le Tallec's cross - and there was more penalty drama in the 62nd minute.
Messias got it wrong again with Taylor penalised when his sliding tackle nicked the ball away from Baros in the area - but Owen's spot-kick was rolled tamely to Hislop's left and the keeper saved comfortably.
And Pompey made Owen pay for his miss when they powered into the lead in the 71st minute.
Berkovic cut inside from the right and fed Yakubu on the edge of the box. He squared to substitute Hughes, who beat Kirkland with an 18-yard angled drive into the bottom corner.
Hislop kept the home side in front with a fine tip-over from Gerrard's header.
Yakubu shot wide when he should have made it 2-0 after exchanging passes with Berkovic - and Owen fired a yard wide from a great shooting position at the other end as Pompey held on for a famous victory.
Portsmouth: Hislop, Primus, Pasanen, De Zeeuw,
Stefanovic (Hughes 45), Harper, Smertin, Quashie, Taylor, Berkovic,
Booked: Quashie, Hughes, Smertin, Yakubu.
Liverpool: Kirkland, Finnan, Henchoz, Hyypia,
Carragher, Hamann, Gerrard, Le Tallec (Murphy 59), Cheyrou (Sinama
Pongolle 82), Heskey (Baros 45), Owen.
Referee: M Messias (N Yorkshire).
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|Match Report filed: 19th February 2004|