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Portsmouth vs Oxford United. Sky Bet League One Play-Offs Semi-Final.

Fratton Park.

Portsmouth 1

  • R Curtis (32nd minute)

Oxford United 1

  • M Browne (43rd minute)

Portsmouth 1-1 Oxford: League One play-off semi-final finely poised after first leg

Report and highlights from the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final first leg at Fratton Park

Simeon Gholam

Monday 6 July 2020 16:55, UK

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Highlights of the Sky Bet League One play-off semi-final first leg between Portsmouth and Oxford United.

Portsmouth and Oxford played out a 1-1 draw to leave their League One play-off semi-final on a knife edge.

Ronan Curtis fired Portsmouth in front after 32 minutes of their first leg at Fratton Park, but Oxford levelled through Marcus Browne shortly before the break.

It leaves the tie finely poised ahead of the second leg at the Kassam Stadium on Monday evening, live on Sky Sports Football.

A close affair at Fratton

Portsmouth players celebrate after Ronan Curtis' opening goal
Image: Portsmouth players celebrate after Ronan Curtis' opening goal

Nearly four months had passed since the suspension of the League One season, but Portsmouth looked bright in the early stages and got the opener shortly after the half-hour mark.

A fine sweeping move from right to left saw Andy Cannon play a nice ball to Curtis, who shot from a tight angle and saw his effort squirm through Simon Eastwood - who probably should have done a little better in the Oxford goal.

Eastwood would have been thankful for Browne on 43 minutes, then, as the winger scored a wonderful solo effort to level the game. He picked the ball up inside his own half before charging to the edge of the box, where he drove a low strike just inside the near post.

Marcus Browne celebrates his equaliser for Oxford United against Portsmouth
Image: Marcus Browne celebrates his equaliser for Oxford United against Portsmouth

Chances were at a premium in the second half, with maybe Pompey doing more of the pressing. The only time a goalkeeper was called into action was on 83 minutes when Eastwood had to dive low to his right to keep out a Christian Burgess header from a free-kick.

More on this story

Man of the Match - Rob Dickie

Dickie has been turning heads with his performances in League One, and his suitors will have been impressed on Friday night. He repelled almost everything Portsmouth threw at him at Fratton Park, both aerially and on the floor. A dominant defensive display.

What the managers said...

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Kenny Jackett and Karl Robinson give their thoughts after the play-off first leg draw between Portsmouth and Oxford.

Portsmouth's Kenny Jackett: "We did get very good deliveries in today and when we got the ball into certain players, we got into good areas. To be fair to them, they defended their box very well and got the blocks in. I do think, in terms of shots, we will come out on top but we can do better on Monday.

"Certain things are rusty but there was a real heart and spirit about our side today that I really liked."

Oxford's Karl Robinson: "I think the referee had a great game. Just as players have struggled, they've not refereed or officiated for a period of time either. But Marcus Browne got fouled six times by one player in the first half. By the letter of the law, that's a booking.

"If I was Portsmouth, I'd be disappointed as I felt they should have had a penalty in the first half when Rob Dickie got hold of one of their players around the back. Other than that, I thought it was two honest teams trying to find the way in a difficult game."

What's next?

The second leg will be live on Sky Sports Football on Monday, June 6 from 4.30pm. Kick-off is at 5pm.

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