Today in History: Sulley Muntari wins FA Cup with Portsmouth at Wembley

Muntari@FA Cup 17.0508Former Ghana International, Sulley Ali Muntari

Mon, 17 May 2021 Source: happyghana.com

On this day, 17 May 2008 (exactly 13 years ago today) Sulley Ali Muntari became only the second Ghanaian to win the English FA Cup as Nwankwo Kanu’s goal was good enough to give Portsmouth a 1-0 win in the FA Cup final against Cardiff City at Wembley.

Kanu, who scored Pompey’s semi-final winner against West Brom, struck eight minutes before half-time following a miss that threatened to go down in Wembley folklore.

The Nigerian’s goal meant the south coast club won the FA Cup for only the second time in their history following their last appearance in a major Wembley final back in 1939.

It also gave Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp his first piece of significant silverware as either player or manager.

The decisive moment of the match came in the 37th minute.

France international midfielder Lassana Diarra, who repeatedly proved adept at bringing the ball out of defence, released John Utaka down the right.

Kanu’s fellow Nigeria forward teased Cardiff full-back, Tony Capaldi, before crossing. Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman let the ball slip from his grasp when he should have clung on and Kanu scored from barely a yard out.

It was Kanu’s first goal since he scored the winner in the 1-0 semi-final win over West Brom, one of his former clubs, and Pompey’s first in four matches after a disappointing end to their league season.

And it came as an immense relief to both the striker and his teammates, without cup-tied goalscorer Jermain Defoe, after an agonising miss.

Played in by Sulley Muntari in the 22nd minute, Kanu slipped the ball past Enckleman but, albeit from a slightly tight angle, his shot hit the left post with the goal unguarded.

At that moment Pompey fans could have been forgiven for thinking their team’s hopes of winning a first major trophy since being crowned champions of England 58 years earlier was about to pass them by.

And on the stroke of half-time Cardiff, the only non-English side to win the FA Cup back in 1927, almost equalised.

Portsmouth: James, Johnson, Campbell, Distin, Hreidarsson, Utaka (Nugent 69), Pedro Mendes (Diop 78), Diarra, Muntari, Kranjcar, Kanu (Baros 87).

Subs Not Used: Ashdown, Pamarot.

Booked: Hreidarsson, Kranjcar, Diarra.

Goals: Kanu 37.

Cardiff: Enckelman, McNaughton, Johnson, Loovens, Capaldi, Ledley, Rae (Sinclair 86), McPhail, Whittingham (Ramsey 61), Parry, Hasselbaink (Thompson 70).

Subs Not Used: Oakes, Purse.

Att: 89,874

Ref: Mike Dean (Wirral).

Source: happyghana.com
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