Mikey Harris spoke of his pride after his gutsy Pompey Academy side booked a date with Manchester City.
The Blues were 2-0 down and 13 minutes away from FA Youth Cup elimination at Bristol Rovers last night.
Yet two goals from skipper Calvin Davies and substitute Harvey Bradbury’s late strike had them dreaming of what appeared to be an improbable victory.
Pompey hearts were broken when Rovers equalised in stoppage time to make it 3-3, a scoreline which remained in extra-time.
But the Fratton youngsters kept their heads to win 3-1 on penalties, with two still to take.
Under-18s boss Harris said: ‘It was a roller-coaster, up and down, but in the end the boys came through and deserve a lot of credit for the resilience they showed.
‘To come from 2-0 down to 3-2 up and then conceding in the last minute, a lot of groups would have gone at that point – we would have lost them.
‘But not this group of players, they showed fantastic attitude to come through the game.
‘It’s always difficult when a penalty shoot-out comes around but we were prepared for it.
‘The lads knew who was going and hopefully that gave them the confidence to finish the job like they did.
‘Conditions were unbelievable, 60mph winds into our goal in the first half and in theirs in the second half.
‘The opening two goals were massively wind-assisted but they are the conditions you have to manage.
‘The way the boys responded psychologically was fantastic.
‘We weren’t good enough with the ball, we are better than that, but I am delighted to get through to play Manchester City.’