2008 FA Cup Final

2008 FA Cup Final
Event 2007–08 FA Cup
Date 17 May 2008
Venue Wembley Stadium, London
Man of the Match Nwankwo Kanu (Portsmouth)
Referee Mike Dean (Cheshire)
Attendance 89,874

The 2008 FA Cup Final was a football match held at Wembley Stadium on 17 May 2008 and was the final match of the 2007–08 FA Cup competition.[1] The match was the 127th FA Cup Final, and the second to be held at the new Wembley Stadium since its redevelopment. The match was contested by Portsmouth and Cardiff City, with Portsmouth winning 1–0. This was the first time that the two sides have ever met in the competition, as both teams were aiming to win the FA Cup for the second time, Cardiff having won it in 1927 and Portsmouth in 1939.[2] Had Cardiff won, they would have been the first club from outside the top division of English football to have won the competition since West Ham United in 1980. The match had an attendance of 89,874, a record which still stands as the largest ever for an FA Cup Final at the new Wembley Stadium.

The winning team received £1 million in prize money.[3] As in the preceding few years, the players voted Player of the Round in every round from the First Qualifying Round to the Semi-finals were present and given VIP hospitality for themselves and a guest.[4] Although Cardiff City are considered a Welsh club and only hold associate membership with the Football Association, should they have won the 2008 FA Cup they would have been allowed to compete in the 2008–09 UEFA Cup.[5]

It enabled Portsmouth to qualify for European competition for the first time in their history.

The FA announced that, before the game began, the Welsh national anthem, "Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau" would be played, along with the traditional "God Save the Queen" and "Abide with Me".[5] The Welsh anthem was sung by Katherine Jenkins, while Lesley Garrett sang "God Save the Queen", and the two duetted on "Abide with Me".[6]

Route to the final

Main article: 2007–08 FA Cup

The FA Cup is English football's primary cup competition. Clubs in the Premier League and the Football League Championship enter the FA Cup in the third round and are drawn randomly out of a hat with the remaining clubs. If a match is drawn, a replay comes into force, ordinarily at the ground of the team who were away for the first game. As with league fixtures, FA Cup matches are subject to change in the event of games being selected for television coverage and this often can be influenced by clashes with other competitions.[7]

Cardiff City

Round Opposition Score
3rd Chasetown (h) 3–1
4th Hereford United (a) 1–2
5th Wolverhampton Wanderers (h) 2–0
6th Middlesbrough (a) 0–2
Semi-final Barnsley (n) 1–0
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Cardiff City entered the competition in the third round, receiving a bye as a Football League Championship club. Their opening match was a 3–1 home win against Southern League Division One Midlands side Chasetown. An own goal by defender Kevin McNaughton from a cross by Ben Steane gave Chasetown the lead in the 17th minute. Midfielder Peter Whittingham scored a first half injury time equaliser for Cardiff. Whittingham's team-mate Aaron Ramsey (who was making his first appearance in a FA Cup match) put Cardiff ahead with a close-range header and winger Paul Parry hit the ball through Chasetown goalkeeper Lee Evans' legs to ensure progression to the fourth round.[8] Cardiff were drawn away to League Two side Hereford United at Edgar Street. McNaughton opened the scoreline with his first goal for Cardiff with a volley from the edge of the Hereford penalty area during first-half injury time. They extended their lead when striker Steven Thompson scored a penalty after McNaughton was felled by Clint Easton. Hereford scored in the 77th minute through striker Theo Robinson, but they were unable to achieve an equaliser and Cardiff won the match 2–1 to go through to the fifth round.[9] This was the first time since 1994 that Cardiff had progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup.[10]

Cardiff City's fifth round match was home to fellow Championship club Wolverhampton Wanderers. Whittingham opened the scoreline for Cardiff after 90 seconds as he converted a flick-on from striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink. Hasselbaink extended Cardiff's advantage nine minutes later by side-stepping the ball into the top-left hand corner of the Wanderers goal net. Wanderers were unable to respond in the remainder of the match despite centre forward Kevin Kyle taking advantage of a mistake by centre-back Glenn Loovens after the second half kicked off to only for Loovens got back to clear off the line.[11] In the sixth round, Cardiff was drawn away to Premier League side Middlesbrough at the Riverside Stadium. An early goal by Whittingham and a second by defender Roger Johnson from a Whittingham free-kick in the 23rd minute was enough to take Cardiff into the semi-finals.[12] In the semi-final held at the Wembley Stadium against Barnsley, central midfielder Joe Ledley scored the winning goal from a volley off his left foot to help Cardiff reach their first FA Cup final since 1927.[13]


Round Opposition Score
3rd Ipswich Town (a) 0–1
4th Plymouth Argyle (h) 2–1
5th Preston North End (a) 0–1
6th Manchester United (a) 0–1
Semi-final West Bromwich Albion (n) 1–0
Key: (h) = Home venue; (a) = Away venue; (n) = Neutral venue.

Like Cardiff City, but as a Premier League club, Portsmouth received a bye into the third round. Their opening match was a 1–0 away win against Championship side Ipswich Town at Portman Road on 4 January 2008. Striker David Nugent (who started the match as a substitute) scored the winning goal in the 51st minute of the match and his first since September 2007, allowing Portsmouth to progress into the next round.[14] There, they were drawn against another Championship club, Plymouth Argyle. The match held at Portsmouth's home ground Fratton Park, saw the visitors take the lead early in the first half when striker Chris Clark scored his first goal for Plymouth which came from a deflection off Hermann Hreiðarsson. Portsmouth responded with their recently signed striker Lassana Diarra converting in a corner kick pass from midfielder Pedro Mendes in the 34th minute of the match. A goal by Niko Kranjčar from an eight-yard pass from right back Glen Johnson gave Portsmouth a 2–1 victory and meant they went into the next round of the FA Cup.[15]

The club faced Preston North End away at Deepdale in the fifth round. In the final seconds of the match, Preston midfielder Darren Carter attempted to clear a corner kick from Kranjčar but struck the ball into his own net.[16] In the sixth round, Portsmouth was drawn away to fellow Premier League club Manchester United at Old Trafford. Portsmouth took a 1–0 victory after midfielder Sulley Muntari converted in a penalty following a foul by United reserve goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak on striker Milan Baroš which caused Kuszczak to be sent off the pitch. This ended the chances of Manchester United of replicating their success of the 1998–99 season.[17] West Bromwich Albion, from the Championship, were the opposition in the semi-final which was also held at the neutral venue of the Wembley Stadium on 5 April 2008. Striker Nwankwo Kanu side-footed the winning goal of the match which meant Portsmouth had secured a place in the final for the first time since 1939.[18]

Team news

The Wembley scoreboard at the final whistle.

Cardiff decided to leave veteran striker Robbie Fowler out of the squad as he had only just recovered from injury. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink started on his own up-front, supported by winger Paul Parry. Aaron Ramsey became the second youngest player, at 17 years and 143 days, to appear in an FA Cup Final when he came off the bench to replace Peter Whittingham on the hour mark, only 24 days older than Curtis Weston was for Millwall in 2004.[19]

Jermain Defoe was cup-tied for Portsmouth having played in the third and fourth rounds for Tottenham Hotspur in January. Consequently, Nwankwo Kanu played as a lone striker, with support from a five-man midfield of Niko Kranjčar, John Utaka, Pedro Mendes, Lassana Diarra and Sulley Muntari. Sol Campbell, Glen Johnson and David James were the only three English players in the starting line-up, with Campbell and former Arsenal team-mate Kanu both looking to win the FA Cup for the third time (they had won the competition twice with Arsenal).

Match details

17 May 2008
15:00 BST
Cardiff City Wales 0–1 England Portsmouth
(Report) Kanu  37'
Wembley Stadium, London
Attendance: 89,874
Referee: Mike Dean (Cheshire)[20]
Cardiff City
GK 1 Finland Peter Enckelman
RB 2 Scotland Kevin McNaughton
CB 12England Roger Johnson
CB 6 Netherlands Glenn Loovens
LB 3 Northern Ireland Tony Capaldi
RM 16Wales Joe Ledley
CM 4 Scotland Gavin Rae  86'
CM 10Republic of Ireland Stephen McPhail (c)
LM 7 England Peter Whittingham  61'
CF 36Netherlands Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink  70'
CF 11Wales Paul Parry
GK 13England Michael Oakes
DF 5 England Darren Purse
MF 18England Trevor Sinclair  86'
MF 30Wales Aaron Ramsey  61'
FW 20Scotland Steven Thompson  70'
England Dave Jones
GK 1 England David James
RB 5 England Glen Johnson
CB 23England Sol Campbell (c)
CB 15France Sylvain Distin
LB 7 Iceland Hermann Hreiðarsson  45+1'
DM 6 France Lassana Diarra  90+3'
RM 17Nigeria John Utaka  69'
CM 30Portugal Pedro Mendes  78'
CM 19Croatia Niko Kranjčar  54'
LM 11Ghana Sulley Muntari
CF 27Nigeria Nwankwo Kanu  87'
GK 21England Jamie Ashdown
DF 16France Noé Pamarot
MF 8 Senegal Papa Bouba Diop  78'
FW 9 Czech Republic Milan Baroš  87'
FW 10England David Nugent  69'
England Harry Redknapp

Man of the match

Match officials

Match rules

  • 90 minutes.
  • 30 minutes of extra-time if necessary.
  • Penalty shoot-out if scores still level.
  • Five named substitutes.
  • Maximum of three substitutions.


Cardiff Portsmouth
Total shots 9 11
Shots on target 3 5
Ball possession 51% 49%
Corner kicks 7 6
Fouls committed 9 22
Offsides 2 4
Yellow cards 0 3
Red cards 0 0

Source: ESPN[21]

See also


  1. "FA Cup Round Dates". TheFA.com. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  2. "Portsmouth 1–0 Cardiff". BBC News. 17 May 2008. Archived from the original on 17 January 2010. Retrieved 22 April 2010.
  3. "FA Cup Payments to clubs". TheFA.com. 25 June 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  4. "Player of the Round". TheFA.com. 25 September 2007. Retrieved 5 January 2008.
  5. 1 2 "FA approves Cardiff for Uefa Cup". BBC Sport. 24 April 2008. Archived from the original on 23 April 2008. Retrieved 24 April 2008.
  6. "Today's Events". Cardiff City v Portsmouth – The FA Cup sponsored by e.on 2008 Final – Official Matchday Programme. Haymarket Network: 13. 17 May 2008.
  7. "Rules of The FA Cup Challenge Cup". TheFA.com. Retrieved 9 September 2013.
  8. "Chasetown 1-3 Cardiff". BBC Sport. BBC. 5 January 2008. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  9. Dulin, David (27 January 2008). "Hereford 1-2 Cardiff". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  10. Morris, Michael (27 January 2008). "City in round 5 for first time in 14 years". Cardiff City Mad. Digital Sports Group. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  11. Dulin, David (16 February 2008). "Cardiff 2-0 Wolves". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  12. Dulin, David (9 March 2008). "Middlesbrough 0-2 Cardiff". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  13. Williams, Richard (7 April 2008). "Wheel of fortune turns for Cardiff as Odejayi fails to repeat heroics". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  14. Lewis, Aimee (5 January 2008). "Ipswich 0-1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  15. Holt, Sarah (26 January 2008). "Portsmouth 2-1 Plymouth". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  16. Lewis, Aimee (17 February 2008). "Preston 0-1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  17. McNulty, Phil (8 March 2008). "Man Utd 0-1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  18. McKenzie, Andrew (5 April 2008). "West Brom 0-1 Portsmouth". BBC Sport. BBC. Retrieved 31 August 2015.
  19. Cardiff resigned to losing Ramsay
  20. "Dean gets Final spot". TheFA.com. 7 April 2008. Retrieved 8 April 2008.
  21. "Portsmouth; FA Cup Winners 2008". ESPNsoccernet. ESPN Inc. 17 May 2008. Retrieved 6 May 2012.

External links

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