Sky Bet League 1 Play Offs Semi Final (First leg)
Sunderland 1-0 Portsmouth
10-man Sunderland held their nerve to beat Portsmouth in the first leg of the Sky Bet League 1 Play Offs Semi Final yesterday.
Chris Maguire’s goal separated the two sides on the day.
Sunderland came into the game without a win in their last four games while Portsmouth were without a win in their last three.
It was a quiet opening to the game and the first chance didn’t come until the 24th minute when Portsmouth’s Gareth Evans played through Ronan Curtis on the right and his effort went wide.
Ten minutes later, Sunderland’s first chance of the game came when Charlie Wyke latched onto the end of a great cross but his effort went flying over.
Nine minutes into the second half, the hosts came close when Tom Flanagan had a shot blocked following a corner.
Five minutes later, George Honeyman’s header on the end of a great Lynden Gooch cross was kept out by visiting keeper Craig MacGillivray with an excellent reflex save.
In the 62nd minute, the hosts took the lead through Maguire. Wyke’s header on the end of Bryan Oviedo’s cross was cleared away and the ball fell to Maguire who volleyed past the keeper into the top-left corner.
Five minutes later, Sunderland were reduced to ten men when Alim Ozturk was sent off for a last man challenge. The resultant free kick from Evans hit the post.
In the 79th minute, Maguire’s long range effort went just wide.
The result means Sunderland will go to Portsmouth for the second leg on Thursday with a narrow advantage.
Sunderland: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Ozturk, Flanagan, Oviedo, Power, Cattermole, Morgan (Maguire 58), Honeyman, Gooch (Dunne 70), Wyke.
Sent off: Ozturk
Subs not used: Ruiter, Mathews, Grigg, Leadbitter, Hume
Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Walkes, Naylor, Close, Lowe, Evans, Curtis (Bogle 69), Hawkins (Solomon-Otabor 69).
Subs not used: Cannon, Dennis, Morris, May, Bass.