Pompey old boy Chris Maguire shot down his old side again today as Sunderland grabbed a come-from-behind victory in the battle of the two fancied League One contenders.
Maguire’s 39th-minute tap-in made the difference as Jack Ross’ men picked up a 2-1 success at the Stadium of Light.
The man who spent a spell on loan at Fratton Park in 2012 grabbed the key goal in the play-offs as the Black Cat edged out Kenny Jackett’s side.
And it was more of the same in front of a crowd of 29,140, as he supplemented Jordan Willis’ header after Marcus Harness had given the Blues the lead.
Pompey will rue the defending for the goals in a game in which there was little in it once again in general play.
Gareth Evans had a great chance for a leveller after the break which was blocked by Alim Ozturk, Grant Leadbitter almost diverted his header past Jon McLaughlin and John Marquis miscued after the restart.
Pompey arrived on Wearside knowing they hadn’t lost at the Stadium of Light since 2008.
Their record against Sunderland also gave cause for optimism, with the Black Cats winning just one of the previous 11 clashes between the sides.
Out of an even opening it was Ben Close who was the first to fashion a chance, whizzing a trademark 30 yarder not too far over the top.
The ref should have played an advantage as Andy Cannon got away from Alim Ozturk in the 17th minute, but he pulled played back when the midfielder was well placed.
Pompey made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute as Harness charged clear but saw the ball nicked away by Ozturk into the path of Marquis. The striker scuffed his shot, however, allowing it to drop to the winger who rifled in a low finish.
Two goals from the home side before the break turned the game on its head, though.
First Willis was allowed to head home in the 27th minute after his side were gifted a corner by the Blues, when he got in front of Christian Burgess from Grant Leadbitter’s delivery.
Then Aiden McGeady skipped around Anton Walkes eight minutes later and crossed to give Maguire a tap-in he gobbled up.
Marquis had the first decent chance after the restart as he got his got his shot all wrong and fired into the hoardings.
Then good play from Pompey freed Brown in a great crossing position, but his ball was put into the arms of McLaughlin.
The response from the home side saw Max Power plant a shot wide from the edge of the box before two Sunderland penalty appeals were turned down as they built a head of steam.
Gareth Evans had a great chance with 15 minutes left after Marquis was freed by Ross McCrorie’s pass, but the cutback was met by the sub and his shot was blocked by Ozturk.
Pompey pushed for a leveller late on but there was no through during four minutes of stoppage time.