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Referee Mike Dean waves away the protests of Cardiff City players after he disallowed a goal during the FA Cup final against Portsmouth on Saturday at Wembley Stadium. Portsmouth won 1-0. ((Alastair Grant/Associated Press))

Heavily favoured Portsmouth did as expected Saturday by winning the 127th FA Cup, England's association championship, 1-0 over Cardiff City at Wembley Stadium.

Nwankwo Kanu scored the first-half goal for a Portsmouth club that withstood a brave last-ditch attack by the underdogs in the final 10 minutes.

The Nigerian striker jumped on a fumble by Cardiff goalkeeper Peter Enkelmann in the 37th minute for the winner.

As a shot came in, the keeper got his hands on it but the ball slipped out to Kanu who was standing right on the doorstep. A little punch of the leg and the ball went behind Enkelmann and into the net.

Kanu's goal made up for an awful miss in the 22nd minute when he somehow contrived to put a ball off the post while facing an open goal.

Cardiff City, 12th place finisher in the lower League Championship division, was trying to become the first team outside the top rung to win the FA Cup since West Ham turned the trick against Arsenal in 1980.

Winning had to have been especially sweet for Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp.

The veteran coach took his first major trophy in 25 years of stalking the sidelines, and it came a month after his sister-in-law Pat Lampard (mother of Chelsea's Frank Lampard) died of cancer.

"Fantastic. For everybody, especially my family," Redknapp said. "The fans, the players. "It's been a difficult year off the field so this is a dream come true.

"We're a very close family — it's for all my grandchildren and everybody. The players are all great, I love them all."