Quincy kills off brave Saints
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie stepped off the bench to fire Portsmouth into the FA Cup quarter-finals.
By Rob Parrish
Last Updated: 13/02/10 5:57pm
Quincy Owusu-Abeyie stepped off the bench to fire Portsmouth into the FA Cup quarter-finals after a thrilling clash with Southampton at St Mary's.
The Pompey substitute was introduced to a pulsating end-to-end encounter shortly before the hour mark and broke the deadlock in the 66th minute with a classy finish before having a hand in two of his side's further goals.
Southampton, who did not look like a side who ply their trade two divisions below their fierce South Coast rivals, hit back almost immediately with top scorer Rickie Lambert heading home from close range.
But former Arsenal and Birmingham forward Owusu-Abeyie, who is with the financially-stricken Fratton Park club on loan from Spartak Moscow, then set up Aruna Dindane with a slide-rule pass in the 75th minute.
Alan Pardew's battling side pressed to get back on terms for a second time, leaving inevitable holes in defence which Avram Grant's troops were only too happy to exploit.
The outstanding Jamie O'Hara showed his class to release Nadir Belhadj to make it 3-1 with eight minutes to go and the on-loan Spurs midfielder then smashed in a fourth after Belhadj and Owusu-Abeyie combined.
Reaching the last eight of the FA Cup gives Pompey a rare glimmer of hope in a season which sees them rooted to the foot of the Premier League table and on the brink of financial meltdown.
Southampton know all about the effect financial troubles can have after dropping down to League One and suffering a points deduction this season for going into administration.
Pardew's men, however, are in decent form and will take huge encouragement from matching their top-flight neighbours - at least until the goals began to flow.
Morgan Schneiderlin had a long-range effort early on, then the hosts got even closer when Lambert swung a cross from the left to the far post.
It was inch-perfect for Papa Waigo and the striker headed towards the bottom corner - but David James was down sharply and gathered at the second attempt.
O'Hara was responsible for Pompey's first efforts on goal, first with a 35-yard free-kick that went just wide of Kelvin Davis' post, then with a drive that the Southampton goalkeeper tipped over the crossbar.
Southampton continued to attack and Waigo was close to getting on the end of a couple of slick moves.
They were presented with another decent chance when James fumbled Lambert's corner. The ball raced onto the head of Radhi Jaidi and his effort went over the crossbar.
James then blocked at point-blank range just before the break when Wayne Thomas got on the end of another Lambert corner.
After going into the interval the happier of the two sides, Southampton did not let half-time break their stride.
James was required to pull off another fine save just after the restart. This time Michail Antonio crossed to the back post and Adam Lallana met it with his head.
James looked to be heading in the wrong direction but adjusted his feet to claw away.
Dindane gave the hosts a warning when he went just wide from the edge of the area, then John Utaka cut in from the left and forced a save from Davis.
Pompey boss Grant made his move just before the hour mark, introducing Owusu-Abeyie for Angelos Basinas and giving his side a more attacking look heading into the final third of the match.
Owusu-Abeyie got into the action straight away with a run down the left and was welcomed with a crunching tackle from Dean Hammond, earning the Saints skipper a booking.
It was pure adrenaline from Hammond as his side were scenting an upset. If Lallana got more power on a volley when sent through, James would have been severely tested again.
Owusu-Abeyie struck in the 66th minute after Hassan Yebda crossed from the right and Utaka worked the ball to the substitute.
The former Arsenal forward took a touch to steady himself and then coolly curled home from just inside the penalty area.
The lead lasted just four minutes as Lambert headed in at the far post from a free-kick - but Pompey were ahead again shortly after the leveller.
Hayden Mullins started the move down the right before Owusu-Abeyie sent Dindane through to chip Davis for his second goal this week after netting against Sunderland.Saints substitute Lee Barnard had a strike chalked off for offside late on, before Belhadj added a third when he raced through and sold Davis a dummy before finishing. O'Hara volleyed home the fourth after a sweeping move.
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|9||Shots on Target||6|
|6||Shots off Target||5|