Fulham hold dominant Pompey
By Pete Allison
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Fulham clung on to a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park, despite Portsmouth's domination.
Fulham clung onto a 1-1 draw at Fratton Park, despite Portsmouth's heavy domination.
Both goals came in the second half as Zat Knight handed Chris Coleman's side the lead, before Andrew Cole came off the bench to score against his former team.
Portsmouth started the day in fourth place, whilst Fulham were in ninth following their impressive start to the season.
Harry Redknapp's side had the brightest of starts as Tresor Lomano Lua Lua took the ball down the left hand side to the by-line, before squaring it back to Kanu, who hit wide of the right-hand post.
Fulham's first chance came from Leroy Rosenior, who crossed the ball into the Pompey area, but his long ball ended up as a shot, forcing David James to push the ball over the bar.
Portsmouth continued to press, as Sean Davis' header hit the crossbar against his former side following a perfectly measured cross from Dejan Stefanovic.
Kanu showed good strength as he stormed into the area, out-muscling two Fulham defenders, until Franck Queudrue scrambled the ball out for a corner.
Portsmouth were handed a golden opportunity to take the lead with a free kick in a promising position, but Lua Lua's well-hit effort was matched by a first-class save from Antti Niemi.
Kanu was then denied a penalty when Boa Morte brought him down in the six-yard box, but referee Steve Bennett signalled only for a Fulham free kick.
Portsmouth almost took the lead on the half-hour mark, as Matthew Taylor's corner curled and hit the crossbar, but bounced over for a Fulham goal kick.
The Portsmouth attack continued to cause the Fulham defence problems, as Lua Lua and Kanu increased the pressure, although the lack of a decent final ball ment the score remained at 0-0.
A long run from Lua Lua then resulted in another chance for Portsmouth, as he stormed towards the by-line, but his squared ball fell to the feet of a Fulham defender, who then cleared.
Lua Lua then had another chance, as he failed to convert Linvoy Primus' right-sided cross which was thumped wide of the post.
Tempers flared between James and Knight following a Fulham free kick, which resulted in the first yellow card of the match for Knight due to unsporting behavior.
Knight then was involved in an argument with fellow Fulham defender Queudrue, as Pompey's possession left Fulham increasingly frustrated.
Niemi continued to impress in the Fulham goal, as a Taylor corner was met Kanu, whose header was dug out by the Finland international late in the first half.
Neither manager made any changes at half time, and the game picked up from where it left off, as Harry Redknapp's side almost took the lead through a long-range Davis effort, which flew inches over the crossbar.
Gary O'Neil came close again, as Kanu's through ball was missed by a matter of inches, as it dribbled past Niemi for a goal kick.
Coleman watched on as his team continued to struggle under pressure, but it was Harry Redknapp who was left bewildered as to how his team were not in the lead.
Portsmouth were punished for the lack of a decent final ball when Fulham took a shock lead through Knight, as he latched onto a Claus Jensen corner.
Knight's header took a slight deflection off the back of Stefanovic, which guided the ball past James and into the Portsmouth net on 57 minutes.
Primus had an opportunity to get his side back in it, as his bundled effort was cleared off the line by Moritz Volz. The ball then rebounded off Primus for a goal kick. Niemi was then booked for time-wasting when preparing to take it.
Redknapp made the first change of the match as he increased his side's firepower by bringing on Cole for Taylor, 20 minutes from time.
A steady flow of corners and free kicks saw Portsmouth go close, as Noe Pamarot's powerful header hit the underside of the bar, and rocket backwards away from goal.
Portsmouth's pressure then paid off when a goalmouth scramble commenced as Niemi jumped to catch an O'Neil cross. However, the ball was knocked out of his hands, and experienced striker Cole pounced on the ball to bundle it into the net, making it 1-1 on 74 minutes.
Coleman then made his first change of the game, when Volz was replaced by Wayne Routledge, as Fulham looked to end the continuous pressure from Pompey.
Kanu was the next player to be taken off, as Benjani was brought on to provide some fresh legs as Portsmouth searched for the winner.
Lua Lua's thumping long range effort was drilled along the ground, as Niemi dived low to push it wide.
Fulham's second change of the match was then made, as Jensen was replaced by Papa Bouba Diop.
Portsmouth then suffered an injury blow, as O'Neil was stretchered off following a desperate Fulham challenge, and was replaced by David Thompson.
Fulham had Niemi to thank again, as he thumped away a close-range effort from Benjani.
The final change of the match was made late on, as Brian McBride was replaced by Collins John.
The injury to O'Neil resulted in four minutes of injury time, as Portsmouth piled on the pressure in search of three points.
However, Fulham clung on and the match ended in a 1-1 draw, both teams falling one place in the league table. Portsmouth finished the day in fifth, whilst Fulham remain in the top half in tenth place.
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|8||Shots on target ( Inc Goals )||3|
|11||Shots off Target (inc woodwork)||3|
|11||Total Fouls Conceded||8|