Yakubu kills off Cardiff
By Rob Lancaster. Last Updated: 09/11/04 7:36pm
Portsmouth booked their passage through to the last eight of the Carling Cup as two goals from Yakubu Aiyegbeni was enough to see off Cardiff.
The Nigerian's double strike early in the second half wrapped up an away victory at Ninian Park as the hosts rarely looked likely of pulling off an upset.
The first 45 minutes produced little to suggest either side were likely to find the net as chances were at a premium and possession was needlessly squandered by both sets of players.
While Cardiff struggled to string two passes together, Portsmouth looked lacklustre in the final third as they attempted to overcome the 3-0 defeat they suffered at Aston Villa last Saturday.
Tresor Lomana Lua Lua could well have put the visitors in front early on but the striker failed to hit the target with a shot from a wide angle, a chance that proved to be the Premiership outfit's best of the opening half.
The hosts began to take control of proceedings in the final 15 minutes and did at least manage to force goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown, standing in for the rested Shaka Hislop, into action on two occasions.
Cardiff's forward pairing of Paul Parry and Alan Lee both tested the former Reading custodian, but their efforts were both too close to the keeper to cause him much concern and it was little surprise that the match was scoreless at the interval.
However, the deadlock was soon broken after the break as some sloppy defending on the right flank allowed a low cross to come into the box and Yakubu tucked home from close range at the second time of asking.
The goal, coming two minutes into the second half, owed much to Cardiff's rearguard going to sleep as the Nigerian found the net after his original effort was turned onto the crossbar by home keeper Tony Warner.
Pompey doubled their lead just eight minutes later as Yakubu slotted home a penalty after Matthew Taylor had been fouled in the box.
Once again Cardiff had only themselves to blame as they were caught short of numbers at the back and Yakubu punished them in fine style as he denied David Unsworth the chance to take the spot kick and sent Warner the wrong way to make it 2-0.
Lennie Lawrence made three changes in an attempt to turn the game round but it was to little effect as the team from the top-flight saw out the final half hour with few worries and Pompey will now head into Saturday's south coast derby against Southampton with their confidence restored.
Click on fixture for full match summary:
Cardiff 0-2 Portsmouth
| ||Cardiff City||Portsmouth|
|Shots on target||4||5|
|Shots off target||4||7|