Tottenham vs Portsmouth – FA Cup third round: Live score, team news and updates


Tottenham 1-0 Portsmouth: Harry Kane is the match-winner for Spurs as Antonio Conte’s men squeeze past their stubborn League One opponents to reach the FA Cup fourth round

  • Harry Kane’s sublime curling finish was the difference as Tottenham progressed into the FA Cup fourth round
  • League One side Portsmouth put on a stubborn display in front of their 9,000 travelling away fans in London
  • England captain now sits just the one goal behind Jimmy Greaves as all-time Tottenham record goal-scorer 

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‘Over the bar, over the bar,’ they mocked from the Portsmouth end as Harry Kane lined up the free kick. In true football parlance, it’s best to get your retaliation in first and your digs in early. Because invariably Kane gets the last laugh.

It will take a while for the penalty miss against France to subside from terrace humour. But wither away it will in the coming months. What will remain is the magnitude of Kane’s goal-scoring achievements. The free kick didn’t go so well, driven directly into the defensive wall. Yet there would be riposte later. Of course there would.

In the coming months the iconic records will come tumbling down. Kane now sits just the one goal behind Jimmy Greaves as all-time Tottenham record goal-scorer. The festival of celebration for surpassing the greatest ever English goal-scorer will have to wait for now. Perhaps next week’s north London derby here will be a more fitting occasion? Then Wayne Rooney’s England record will be surpassed when he next scores for the national team.

Harry Kane’s sublime curling effort in the second-half was the difference as Spurs knocked Portsmouth out the FA Cup

Antonio Conte's men avoided an FA Cup third round upset with a determined display against Pompey at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

Antonio Conte’s men avoided an FA Cup third round upset with a determined display against Pompey at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium

But the conundrum remains. Had Kane broken that Rooney record against France, might he now be at the pinnacle of his career and a World Cup winner? All idle speculation in one sense. Right now a League Cup, the Intertoto Cup, any cup would do for Kane and Spurs.

The measure of Tottenham’s mediocrity is that League One opponents Portsmouth have won a major trophy more recently than Spurs. ‘When Sol went up/To lift the FA Cup/We were there!’ chanted those 8,500 travelling fans, a double jibe given Sol Campbell’s traitor status here.

The only response the Spurs fans could offer was ‘We want Levy out’, the palpable discord at the club now seemingly a permanent feature since the last days of Mauricio Pochettino, coach seemingly pitted against owner whoever the managerial incumbent happens to be.

The League One outfit put on a valiant display in front of their 9,000 travelling away fans but their FA Cup journey comes to an end

The League One outfit put on a valiant display in front of their 9,000 travelling away fans but their FA Cup journey comes to an end

Spurs players celebrate Harry Kane opening the scoring with his wonderful effort which turned out to be the match-winner

Spurs players celebrate Harry Kane opening the scoring with his wonderful effort which turned out to be the match-winner

There was nothing that Pompey goalkeeper Josh Griffiths could do about Kane's curling effort which he had to simply watch fly past him

There was nothing that Pompey goalkeeper Josh Griffiths could do about Kane’s curling effort which he had to simply watch fly past him

For now it is Antonio Conte and amidst all the complaints and equivocating about his future – he appears to believe he was hired to drive a Formula One car and has been handed the keys to Ford Escort – it’s not impossible that this competition or even the Champions League could provide a twist to a curiously ambivalent Tottenham season, which started full of promise but lost its way. An FA Cup would be an important milestone for Spurs so, as such, this win cvan be marked as baby step on that route.

Without reducing it all to personalities, the future of Spurs is bounds up in Conte and Kane. The latter has one more year left on his deal. His window of opportunity to move to a club that wins major trophies is now. If both he and Conte decide Spurs aren’t that kind of club – and it will be a quarter of century since their 2008 League win in March – then Levy’s rebuild will have to proceed minus the two most-famous names at the club.

For now, there is some hope and there will be celebrations soon. How could there not be when a record as significant as Greaves’ is about to fall? Kane’s step towards that goal came on 51 minutes, a rare moment of quality it a cup tie undistinguished, but for the commitment of the visitors and their fans.

Kane nutmegged Ryan Tunnicliffe before exchanging passes with Ryan Sessgnon. Just outside the area, he looked up, took a touch, chose his spot and curled his strike into the far right hand corner. Classic Kane.

Portsmouth didn’t really have an answer to that, nor would you expect them to given that they have sunk to twelfth in League One, their last league win back in October, a run that saw manager Danny Cowley replaced last week with stand-in Simon Bassey here.

They were redoubtable here, their 5-3-2 keeping Tottenham at bay and even making the last few minutes a little nervous without actually producing a clear chance. Their best moment came on 13 minutes when Reeco Hackett-Fairchild met a cross with a glorious strike, swivelling mid-air to connect with the ball on the turn and force Fraser Forster to push it wide for the corner. It would have been some goal. Kane will doubtless empathise with Hackett-Fairchild sense of what might have been.

 RE-LIVE ALL THE ACTION AS IT UNFOLDED WITH ARTHUR PARASHAR BELOW

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