Zvjezdan Misimović took full advantage of a momentary lapse by Portsmouth FC goalkeeper David James as VfL Wolfsburg sealed their place in the UEFA Cup Round of 32 at the English side's expense.
The Bosnia-Herzegovnian international dispossessed the goalkeeper when James attempted to dribble the ball around him near the penalty spot to put Wolfsburg 3-2 up after 74 minutes. Although the custodian made some amends by denying the same player from the penalty spot five minutes later, the die was cast, with Portsmouth's maiden European campaign being brought to a premature end.
Tit for tat
Wolfsburg went ahead in the third minute when Christian Gentner showed neat skill on the right and crossed low for Edin Džeko to flick home from close range. The visitors equalised after eleven minutes, however, as Armand Traoré surged down the left and clipped in a cross that goalkeeper Diego Benaglio could palm only to Jermain Defoe, whose scuffed effort crept over the line.
Amazingly, Tony Adams's men took the lead three minutes later when Arnold Mvuemba placed a shot into the corner of the net from 18 metres with the help of a deflection. However, the match was level again in the 23rd minute, with Gentner's low centre from the left evading everybody and going straight into the net, though there was still time for James to save from Misimović before the break.
Niko Kranjčar came close to restoring Portsmouth's advantage as his free-kick thudded into the crossbar, yet James handed Wolfsburg their third goal, and though he kept out Misimović's spot-kick after Sol Campbell's foul on Džeko, SC Braga's win at SC Heerenveen ensured that Pompey's Matchday 5 game against the Dutch club will be a dead rubber.