FAVOURITES Sunderland Women were dumped out of the League Cup in the quarter-finals by by Portsmouth yesterday despite dominating the game.
Although they deservedly took the lead, the Premier League leaders were taken to extra-time where their progress was halted by a spirited performance from the Southern Division side.
The much-postponed tie finally went ahead and Sunderland, without a game for over two months, looked rusty as Portsmouth opened brightly.
But the visitors found their rhythm and dominated, only to fail to find a way to goal.
The second half continued with the visitors on top and they finally took the lead in the 55th minute when Natalie Gutteridge was brought down in the box as she closed in on goal.
Kelly McDougall slotted home the resulting penalty.
The lead was short lived, though, as Sunderland failed to clear their lines and Justine Lorton scrambled the ball home two minutes later.
The visitors continued to create chances but could not force home their advantage as the game went into extra-time. Sunderland pushed forward but yet again squandered chances and against the run of play Portsmouth grabbed the lead in the 98th minute.
With the Wearsiders appealing for offside, Gemma Hillier went on to score beyond the despairing Rachael Laws.
Lorton missed a penalty for the home side before Sunderland hearts were broken as what seemed an injury-time equaliser was disallowed as the Pompey keeper seemed to collide with her own defenders and the ball was scrambled home, only for a foul to be awarded in Portsmouth’s favour.
Sunderland: Laws, Christen (Salicki), Bannon, Wilson, Greenwell, Ramshaw, McDougall, Nobbs (McFadden), Stokes, Gutteridge, Williams (Atkinson).