Portsmouth 1-1 Cardiff

Nwankwo Kanu rescued a draw for Portsmouth with a late goal in a tight encounter against Cardiff City.

The Nigerian striker had only been on the pitch for five minutes when Tal Ben-Haim's cross allowed the substitute to head past David Marshall.

Cardiff had taken the lead when Rob Earnshaw found left-back Andrew Taylor on a supporting run to crash home.

Striker Earnshaw had earlier missed from close range, while Pompey striker Dave Kitson also threatened.

Cardiff had been unlucky not to take an early lead when Darcy Blake's left-footed drive hit the post.

But Portsmouth were also denied by the woodwork after 22 minutes when Joel Ward's rasping effort beat David Marshall in the Cardiff goal but crashed back off the bar.

It was Cardiff's Earnshaw who forced the first save of the afternoon when the striker advanced into the area, but Jamie Ashdown was out quickly and made a wonderful save to tip the effort wide.

The Wales international should have broken the deadlock moments later when he latched onto the ball after Ward's slip, but he fired wide from close range.

Having survived that scare, Portsmouth were agonisingly close to taking the lead soon after half-time when Liam Lawrence rolled the ball into the path of Greg Halford, but his thunderous 25-yard effort bounced back off the post to safety.

Cardiff pressed forward and created a chance of their own after 56 minutes when Don Cowie crossed for Peter Whittingham, who could only direct his header over the bar.

But it was Portsmouth who looked more likely to score as the game went into the latter stages.

First Halford met a corner from Lawrence but his header was cleared off the line by Earnshaw on 63 minutes. A mass goalmouth scramble followed but Pompey could not force the ball home despite the best efforts of Kitson, who saw his shot parried by Marshall.

Minutes later Portsmouth looked certain to score as David Norris headed a throw-in into the path of Benjani, but the substitute was thwarted by a crucial last-ditch tackle from Whittingham.

The Bluebirds made them pay with 20 minutes to go when Taylor gave Cardiff the lead. The defender's overlapping run was found by an inch-perfect pass from Earnshaw and Taylor drilled the ball into the bottom corner.

But Portsmouth deservedly hit back with 10 minutes remaining when Kanu, who had only been on the field for five minutes, stooped to head in Ben-Haim's cross.

Portsmouth poured forward to force a winner and went close in stoppage time but Anthony Gerrard twice blocked shots from Kitson.

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