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Sunderland reach League One play-off final after Portsmouth draw

Sunderland reach League One play-off final after Portsmouth draw

Jack Ross took charge of Sunderland last summer after winning the Scottish Championship title with St MirrenSunderland moved a step closer to an immediate return to the Championship as they saw off Portsmouth to reach the League One play-off final.After a goalless and fractious second leg, Chris Maguire's volley from the first leg at the Stadium of Light was enough to get them to Wembley.It was revenge for the Black Cats, who lost the Checkatrade Trophy final on penalties to the same opposition in March.
Two fine saves by Jon McLaughlin in either half from Gareth Evans and James Vaughan headers, and Matt Clarke nodding a corner on to the crossbar, were the closest Pompey came to drawing level on aggregate.Sunderland will face either Charlton Athletic or Doncaster Rovers in the final on Sunday, 26 May, with the Addicks holding a 2-1 lead going into Friday's second leg.Portsmouth are still to win a play-off match in six attempts and will remain in League One for a third successive season.
Relive Sunderland's play-off semi-final triumph
A tempestuous and scrappy game failed to live up to the hype and followed a similar pattern to the first leg in terms of a lack of chances at either end.There was ill-discipline throughout on a night when referee Peter Bankes showed six yellow cards.At one stage, frustrations among the capacity crowd threatened to spill on to the pitch when Sunderland full-back Luke O'Nien accidentally landed in the front rows of touchline seating when trying to keep the ball in play and then had to be dragged away by team-mates from a spectator.O'Nien did not let the incident distract him and, as Portsmouth's frustrations at a lack of penetration grew in the closing stages, Sunderland were more than comfortable holding on to their 1-0 aggregate lead.Manager Jack Ross has now taken the Mackems to Wembley twice in his first season in charge and knows one more win would provide a happy ending to another turbulent campaign off the pitch with uncertainty surrounding the future ownership of the club.
Hope and despair in equal measure
While one club has a big day at Wembley to look forward to in Sunderland, the other in Portsmouth will be left contemplating what might have been.Many pundits had both sides down as automatic promotion favourites at the start of the season, but their lack of respective consistency ultimately left them behind Luton Town and Barnsley.Promotion for Sunderland would end a sorry two years in the club's history after back-to-back relegations from the Premier League and Championship.Portsmouth remain ambitious and determined to continue their climb back up the divisions, but a failure once again to win a play-off tie will be a frustration.Automatic promotion was in their own hands in the closing stages of the season, but the play-offs may well have represented two games too many for Kenny Jackett's side.
Line-ups
Match Stats
Live Text
Line-ups
Portsmouth
15MacGillivray
20Thompson
6Burgess
5Clarke
3Brown
7NaylorBooked at 11mins[/i]
33Close
19Solomon-OtaborSubstituted forLoweat 53'minutes
8PitmanBooked at 45mins[/i]
26EvansBooked at 4mins[/i]
9HawkinsSubstituted forVaughanat 68'minutesBooked at 79mins[/i]
Substitutes
2Walkes
10Lowe
11Curtis
18Dennis
24Morris
32Vaughan
35Bass
Sunderland
1McLaughlin
13O'NienBooked at 75mins[/i]
5Ozturk
12Flanagan
3Oviedo
27PowerSubstituted forMorganat 80'minutes
6Cattermole
23Leadbitter
10Honeyman
9WykeSubstituted forGriggat 83'minutes
7MaguireBooked at 21mins[/i]Substituted forGoochat 69'minutes
Substitutes
2Matthews
11Gooch
14Watmore
17Morgan
22Grigg
25Ruiter
30Dunne
Referee:Peter BankesAttendance:18,077
Match Stats
Home TeamPortsmouthAway TeamSunderlandPossessionHome50%Away50%ShotsHome13Away5Shots on TargetHome4Away1CornersHome4Away7FoulsHome15Away19
Live Text
Posted at
Match ends, Portsmouth 0, Sunderland 0.
Full Time
Posted at 90'+7' Second Half ends, Portsmouth 0, Sunderland 0.Posted at 90'+5' Attempt saved. Brett Pitman (Portsmouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Christian Burgess.Posted at 90'+3' Foul by Lynden Gooch (Sunderland).Posted at 90'+3' Jamal Lowe (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 90'+2' Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Jamal Lowe.Posted at 90'+2' Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 90'+2' Foul by Jamal Lowe (Portsmouth).Posted at 90' George Honeyman (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the left wing.Posted at 90' Foul by Nathan Thompson (Portsmouth).Posted at 89' Foul by Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland).Posted at 89' Brett Pitman (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 88' Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 88' Foul by James Vaughan (Portsmouth).Posted at 88' Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Jamal Lowe.Posted at 86' Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Lee Brown.Posted at 84' Luke O'Nien (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 84' Foul by James Vaughan (Portsmouth).Posted at 84' Attempt blocked. Brett Pitman (Portsmouth) header from the centre of the box is blocked.
Substitution
Posted at 83' Substitution, Sunderland. William Grigg replaces Charlie Wyke.
Substitution
Posted at 80' Substitution, Sunderland. Lewis Morgan replaces Max Power.
Booking
Posted at 79' James Vaughan (Portsmouth) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.Posted at 79' Max Power (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 79' Foul by James Vaughan (Portsmouth).Posted at 77' Foul by Luke O'Nien (Sunderland).Posted at 77' James Vaughan (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.Posted at 75' Foul by Grant Leadbitter (Sunderland).Posted at 75' James Vaughan (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Booking
Posted at 75' Luke O'Nien (Sunderland) is shown the yellow card.Posted at 72' Corner, Portsmouth. Conceded by Alim Ozturk.Posted at 71' James Vaughan (Portsmouth) wins a free kick on the right wing.Posted at 71' Foul by Tom Flanagan (Sunderland).Posted at 70' Foul by Brett Pitman (Portsmouth).Posted at 70' Bryan Oviedo (Sunderland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 69' Attempt saved. James Vaughan (Portsmouth) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Brett Pitman.
Substitution
Posted at 69' Substitution, Sunderland. Lynden Gooch replaces Chris Maguire.
Substitution
Posted at 68' Substitution, Portsmouth. James Vaughan replaces Oliver Hawkins.Posted at 64' Gareth Evans (Portsmouth) wins a free kick in the defensive half.Posted at 64' Foul by Lee Cattermole (Sunderland).Posted at 60' Corner, Sunderland. Conceded by Christian Burgess.
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