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First team to book place in League One playoff final

The first team to book a place in the 2019/20 League One playoff final has been confirmed after the first of two semi final second legs on Monday.

Oxford United came out victorious, but it had to go to extra time and penalties to decide who would come out on top and go just one match from potentially reaching the Championship along with Coventry City and Rotherham United.

In Friday evening’s first leg saw a 1-1 draw play out at Fratton Park, with both goals coming in the first half.

Ronan Curtis got the opener to put Portsmouth in front after halfway through, making up for hitting the post earlier on.

Oxford managed to find a leveller through Marcus Browne shortly before the break with a fine individual effort.

It took a great save from Simon Eastwood from an effort by Christian Burgess keep Karl Robinson’s side in the game.

Moving onto the second leg and the pace of the match was noticeably slower than their first leg tie.

Pompey went into this game looking to win a play-off game for the first time in their history, quite astonishingly.

Their record stands at four draws and three defeats from their previous seven encounters including their defeat in last season’s semi-finals by Sunderland 1-0 on aggregate over the two legs.

Pompey were quicker off the mark, however it wasn’t until the 38th minute that they once again opened the score, this time with thanks to Marcus Harness.

He collected Ellis Harrison’s knock down before takes a touch and sends it into the bottom corner.

The lead only lasted 10 minutes as the U’s equalised, though there was slight confusion and chaotic scenes when James Henry’s sent in a corner from the left, only for Portsmouth to make a mess of it and the ball made it’s way over just centimeters over the line, Ellis Harrison having the last touch.

Kenny Jackett’s side hit the post with 20 minutes remaining, Ronan Curtis sent in a cross but John Marquis’ header hits the woodwork.

Shortly after, Dan Agyei raced clear, got into the Pompey area and ended up being closed down, though he still managed a shot which hit the post from a tight angle.

Extra time saw more chances from both sides blown, though it was the south coast outfit who put more pressure on.

Both sides gave everything they got, but it was always looking like penalties was the way to break this deadlock.

This is how the spot kicks played out…

MARQUIS – GOAL (1-0 Pompey)
EVANS – GOAL (2-1 Pompey)
FORDE – GOAL (2-2)
BROWN – GOAL (3-2 Pompey)
MOUSINHO – GOAL (4-3 Oxford)
BRANNAGAN – GOAL (5-4 Oxford)

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, Long (Woodburn 119), Dickie, Moore, Ruffels, Gorrin (Mousinho 119), Sykes (Hanson 85), Brannagan, Henry (Forde 100), Mackie (Taylor 63), Browne (Agyei 85).

Unused subs: Stevens, Atkinson, Kelly.

Booked: Long, Browne, Dickie, Gorrin, Taylor.

Portsmouth (4-2-3-1): Bass, Bolton (Evans 121), Burgess, Raggett, Seddon (Brown 60), McGeehan, Morris, Williams (Hawkins 114), Harness (Cannon 80), Curtis, Harrison (Marquis 60).

Unused subs: MacGillivray, Naylor, Downing, McCrorie.

Booked: Marquis, Curtis.

Oxford will face Wycombe or Fleetwood next Monday night in the Sky Bet League One playoff final at Wembley.

It was in March 2018, Karl Robinson took charge of Oxford who were 16th in League One and five points above the relegation zone

They are now one game away from promotion to the Championship for the first time in 21 years.

An emotional Karl Robinson said after the game: “Wow, we’re in a final. What more can you say?

“This one big family moves on again for one next challenge.”

He paid respect to Portsmouth, but was left gutted that the ground couldn’t have been packed to have seen that the shootout win in person.

Fans reacted after the final whistle blew which saw the first team to book place in League One playoff final…

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