Shaun Derry believes Cambridge United were unlucky to leave Fratton Park empty handed.
Goals either side of the break from Carl Baker and Kal Naismith were enough to seal the win for Pompey and continue the promotion party.
Despite the home team being the better side for the majority, U’s star man Luke Berry whipped in an unstoppable free-kick past David Forde in the 80th minute and sparked a nervy final few minutes.
Half-chances fell to former Blues midfielder James Dunne and Harrison Dunk but both headed wide.
Deep into stoppage time, it was almost déjà vu when Berry fired another free-kick towards the top corner but David Forde pushed the effort wide.
Cambridge slipped to 11th in League Two and their play-off ambitions were dented.
But Derry was pleased with his side’s performance.
He told the Cambridge News: ‘We gave it a go right to the very end.
‘All the games that I’ve managed the club against (the margins) have been so fine and to try to snatch something at the very death there, but Fordey has made an incredible save.
‘We went in at half-time at 1-0 and had a chat and we spoke about tightening a few things up and we did that second half.
‘As the game went on, our fitness levels were fantastic and we peppered their goal in the final 20 minutes.
‘I’m disappointed that we’ve lost, but I think the positives from today take us into next weekend.’
Former Pompey defender Derry also congratulated the Blues’ promotion achievement.
He added: ‘This is an unbelievable football club, one that’s been in the dark for four years now.
‘It’s taken them until now. but they’ve done it and they’ve gone up to League One.’
‘Congratulations to Paul and his team.
‘The top three that have gone up were expected to, but they’ve had to do it.’
– WILL ROONEY