They might have made hard work of it, but Sunderland are now one game from returning to the Championship after a year away.
Chris Maguire’s stunning volley that separated the two sides in the first leg of this League One play-off semi-final was enough to send Jack Ross’s side to Wembley where they await either Charlton or Doncaster, who play on Friday night.
For Portsmouth, it means another season away from the Championship. Portsmouth chairman Michael Eisner called this the biggest match since relegation from the second tier and administration in 2012.
Portsmouth's Tom Naylor competes for the ball with Sunderland's George Honeyman
Naylor throws the ball at Chris Maguire, an action that saw the Portsmouth player booked
Sunderland goalkeeper Jon McLauhglin makes a save from Gareth Evans
He, like most Pompey fans, will wonder how his side didn’t score and at least force this into extra-time.
How Sunderland’s goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin was given such an easy night with Portsmouth’s best efforts directed at him.
The significant news ahead of the second leg was Alim Ozturk’s availability after Sunderland successfully appealed his red card from the match at the Stadium of Light. Ozturk became Sunderland’s clearance specialist towards the end as every ball that came his way was ballooned towards the Portsmouth half.
Fans were asked to arrive early following the arrest of a 22-year-old man for threatening to kill supporters inside the ground.
Bathed in sunshine, the supporters arrived in hope they would see their side at least draw level due to the number of goals Kenny Jackett’s side have scored this season. In total this season, they have scored 109 goals in 61 matches.
Portsmouth's Matthew Clarke shields the ball from Sunderland's Chris Maguire
Nathan Thompson of Portsmouth tries his best to win the ball from Maguire
In total this season, they have score an impressive haul of 109 goals from 61 matches. Twenty of those came in the last 10 games of the season. Before the second leg, the attacking quadruple of Lowe, Curtis, Evans and Hawkins had 45 goals between them. Lowe tops the club’s charts with 16.
Indeed, Evans was fortunate to still be on the pitch when his boot connected with the face of Lee Cattermole with the game only two minutes old. Referee Peter Bankes deemed Evans to have gone for the ball and let the attacker off with a yellow card.
Another incident followed soon afterwards and again it could have been a sending off – this time for Sunderland Maguire. In frustration, after the ball had gone out, he threw the ball in the face of Portsmouth’s Tom Naylor. Again, Bankes only went as far as cautioning