Piquionne fires Pompey into FA Cup semi-finals

LONDON: Frederic Piquionne scored twice as crisis club Portsmouth became the first team into this season's FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 win at home to fellow Premier League side Birmingham City on Saturday.

The French forward scored twice in three second-half minutes for 2008 FA Cup winners Portsmouth, forcing the ball home from close range and then, in the 70th minute, after being played in by Jamie O'Hara, beating Joe Hart when one-on-one with the goalkeeper to the delight of the Fratton Park faithful.

Birmingham, on a day when world football governing body FIFA again ruled out goal-line technology, thought they'd scored through Liam Ridgewell's close-range header with 10 minutes left.

Replays showed the ball had crossed the line but the officials did not let the 'goal' stand and Portsmouth were on their way to Wembley for the semi-finals.

Portsmouth, bottom of English football's top flight and facing the prospect of all but certain relegation, are currently in administration and their estimated debts of 76 million pounds could yet see the club go out of business.

Fulham face London rivals Tottenham in another all-top flight quarter-final later on Saturday.

Sunday's other last eight ties see Premier League leaders Chelsea up against Stoke whilst second-tier Reading, the lowest ranked club left in the tournament, are at home to League Cup finalists Aston Villa.