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Kanu goal wins FA Cup for Portsmouth

  • Story Highlights
  • Premier League Portsmouth beat second-flight Cardiff 1-0 in FA Cup final
  • A first half goal from Nigerian striker Kanu proves decisive at Wembley
  • Portsmouth qualify for the UEFA Cup next season with the victory
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Premier League Portsmouth beat second-flight underdogs Cardiff City 1-0 to win the FA Cup for the first time since 1939 and claim a place in next season's UEFA Cup competition.

A first half goal from Kanu (second right) sealed Pompey's victory at Wembley.

A first half goal from Nigerian international Nwankwo Kanu settled the 127th final of football's oldest cup competition and gave Harry Redknapp his first major title after 25 years in management.

"Fantastic. For everybody, especially my family," Redknapp told BBC Sport.

His sister-in-law Pat Lampard -- mother of Chelsea's Frank Lampard -- died of cancer last month.

"The fans, the players. It's been a difficult year off the field so this is a dream come true. We're a very close family -- it's for all my grandchildren and everybody. The players are all great, I love them all."

Kanu, who was named man of the match, had hit the post moments before and seized on a mistake by Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enckelman to hook home from close range in the 37th minute.

Kanu's compatriot John Utaka teased Cardiff's defense on the right before sending in a low cross which Enckelman could only parry straight to the match winner.

The goal came against the run of play, with Cardiff making the better start and troubling the experienced Portsmouth defense.

The pace of Paul Parry took him clear of former England international Sol Campbell and it needed current England goalkeeper David James to come quickly off his line to block his effort.

Parry also broke clear on the left but wasted a good opportunity to shoot, instead crossing tamely.

Dave Jones' men were made to pay for this wastefulness as Kanu twisted expertly in their penalty area and having done the hard work shot against the post from an acute angle.

His redemption was not long in coming and proved the decisive moment in a final which petered out in the second half as Campbell and his central defensive partner Sylvain Distain snuffed out the sporadic Cardiff attacks.

Cardiff gave a final run out to 17-year-old Aaron Ramsey as a second half substitute but while he gave glimpses of his potential could do little to alter the overall outcome.

Kanu scuffed a shot when given the opportunity for a second goal and Pompey substitute David Nugent brought out a fine save from Enckleman before a spell of late Cardiff pressure which was not rewarded with an equalizer.

"A slight mistake cost us," Cardiff manager Dave Jones told the BBC.

"But we've done everyone proud. I hope we've given every club hope that they can achieve what they might have thought was impossible."

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