The 2018/19 Checkatrade Trophy Final was full of twists and turns at Wembley, which, after a dramatic penalty shootout, eventually saw Portsmouth leave the hallowed turf with the EFL Trophy for the first time in its history.
Portsmouth 2-2 Sunderland AFC (Portsmouth win 5-4 on penalties)
After sharing the spoils in 90 minutes of normal time and then extra-time, it came down to the lottery of penalties, and it would be a shootout to forget for Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole who had his effort saved by Craig MacGillivray in front of the Portsmouth supporters.
An EFL Trophy record crowd of 85,021 were in attendance at Wembley Stadium last March, as two League One promotion hopefuls battled it out at the National Stadium.
It was the much-fancied Sunderland who took the lead, seven minutes shy of the half-time whistle, Aiden McGeady’s deflected free-kick gave MacGillivray no chance, an early blow to Kenny Jackett’s masterplan. All was not lost though as deep into the second-half a cross from Gareth Evans was nodded home by the advancing Nathan Thompson to send the affair into extra-time.
As the minutes ticked down the in the final quarter of the game, Pompey looked to have found a winner. A long ball upfield found the feet of Jamal Lowe, and with the advancing Jon McLaughlin, Lowe cleverly chipped the ball over the top to give Pompey what they thought was the win.
McGeady had other ideas, however. The Republic of Ireland international popped up at the back-post to net his second of the game and break Portsmouth hearts.
That goal would only delay the inevitable though, as MacGillivray produced his magic to save Cattermole’s penalty, leaving it up to Oli Hawkins to seal the game and send Portsmouth back to the south coast with the EFL Trophy to hand.
Portsmouth: MacGillivray, Thompson, Burgess, Clarke, Brown, Naylor, Close, (Walkes 113’), Lowe, Pitman, Curtis (Evans 56’), Bogle (Watkins 69’)
Subs not used: May, Vaughan, Bass, Haunstrup
Sunderland: McLaughlin, O’Nien, Flanagan, Baldwin, James (Hume 88’), Cattermole, Leadbitter (Wyke 95’), Morgan (Gooch 73’), Honeyman, McGeady, Grigg (Power 77)
Subs not used McGeouch, Ruiter, Dunne, Hume