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 Posted by ESPN Staff
May 17, 2008

Redknapp hails dream win for Portsmouth

Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp described his side's FA Cup final victory over Cardiff today as a 'dream come true'.

Kanu was Pompey's match-winner, just as he was in the semi-final, capitalising on Bluebirds goalkeeper Peter Enckelman fumbling a John Utaka cross to tap in from close range for the only goal.

The victory gave Portsmouth their first FA Cup success since 1939 and booked them a place in next season's UEFA Cup.

Redknapp told BBC Sport: 'It's fantastic for everybody - my family, the players, it's great. It has been a difficult year off the field so to win the FA Cup is a dream come true.

'Cardiff were putting us under pressure, putting balls in the box, they played well and worked hard.

'When we get in front we're difficult to break down and the defence were terrific.'

Goalkeeper David James added: 'It was another hard game, a bit scrappy again but we deserved to win.

'The lads held tight, we've only conceded one goal in the whole competition and we've been good.'

Asked about his manager Redknapp, James said: 'Harry's a legend now isn't he? Hats off, well done Harry.'

Defender Sol Campbell, part of the Pompey defence that withstood some late pressure from the Championship side, said: 'It's fantastic, this is a brilliant day for everyone who's connected with Portsmouth.

'We worked hard, we had our luck through the rounds but in the end the result was good.

'Cardiff played good football, they had good chances but I think the quality came through in the end.'

Match-winner Kanu, sporting a cap with `king' written on it, told Sky Sports: 'They call me king. I have to deliver and hopefully I did. I have to thank God - God made it possible for me to score.

'This is the best moment of my life. I started the game and I won the cup for Portsmouth. I have felt nothing like this.'

Kanu hit the post with an earlier chance, but added: 'I kept going, I kept my head down and I scored. You have to take your chance and that's what I did.

'Portsmouth is not one of the four big clubs, no-one could believe we were going to do it and we did it.'

The Nigerian now hopes to stay on with the Fratton Park club.

He added: 'I hope the fans, Harry, everyone at the club will remember this day and they are going to give me a contract.'

Cardiff boss Dave Jones told BBC Sport: 'A slight mistake cost us, we gave it everything we've got and we've done everyone proud.

'What we have done today is prove that maybe other teams can achieve what they thought was impossible.

'I'm very proud of my players, my staff, the chairman, and especially (the fans). They have been magnificent and I'm just sad we couldn't see it through to the death for them.

'There wasn't a great deal in it, there's no-one to blame, but it's hard to swallow.'

Asked whether the run to the final should be a springboard for the club to now mount a challenge for promotion to the Premier League, Jones said: 'It has to be. We've struggled for two years, no money for the last two years.

'We've now got a brand-new stadium, fantastic training facilities and if we don't move on from here, we want shooting.'

Cardiff goalkeeper Enckelman was disappointed not to have prevented Kanu's goal.

Enckelman told BBC Sport: 'It was it is a tough one to deal with. It just started dropping down and I should maybe have done better but it is one of those things.

'The defence could maybe have cleared it, I thought I might try to catch it. It just dropped over.'

Enckelman thought Cardiff had given it their best effort.

He added: 'It just wasn't to be but it's been fantastic. Look at the fans. We have lost the game but they are still cheering us on.'

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