The south coast derby and the day Portsmouth favourite Ricardo Rocha 'lost control' against Southampton

Ricardo Rocha has lifted the lid on a moment etched in south coast derby folklore.

Friday, 22nd November 2019, 5:00 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd November 2019, 6:11 pm

The match will be remembered for the stoppage-time goal which denied the Blues’ rivals victory as they struggled in the midst of a financial crisis.

But there was also the notorious moment Rocha kicked a ball at Southampton fans before becoming embroiled in a confrontation with Adam Lallana.

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Rocha told his version of events and maintains he was trying to kick the ball at the advertising hoarding, in an incident which still gets a lot of airplay among Pompey fans to this day.

‘I know it’s a moment which is talked about still,’ said Rocha of what unfolded.

‘Yes, I tried to hit the advertising board but missed it and hit the fan.

‘I tried to apologise to the fans but they wanted to come onto the pitch. Woahhh, I thought I could be in trouble here!

Ricardo Rocha receives a yellow card at Southampton in 2012.

‘Then Lallana came and started shouting at me. That was the moment I lost control.

‘I did what I did and I can say I was lucky not to get a red card. Really lucky. I’d lost control.

‘We spoke after, though, and I apologised. That was the end.

‘It was all the things which involved the derby. All the pressure and adrenalin.

Ricardo Rocha at Southampton in 2012. Picture: Allan Hutchings (121221-711)

‘Sometimes you can’t control the emotions.

‘But I know it’s something the Pompey fans will remember forever!

‘And of course there was the goal from Norris. I still sometimes go to YouTube to see the way the fans celebrated the goal.

‘Because of the way that happened and everything which was going on it felt like winning!

‘It was special for the fans and a great game to be involved in.’

The game at St Mary’s was one of two south coast derbies Rocha featured in, after the 1-1 draw at Fratton Park in the 2011-12 season.

The Portuguese defender has featured in the Lisbon derby between Benfica and Sporting Lisbon, Minho derby between Guimaraes and Braga and the north London derby while at Spurs.

Rocha feels the south coast derby is comparable to any other.

‘It was special for the fans when we played against them,’ Rocha said.

‘That’s all people were talking about in the city.

‘The south coast derby is special with a lot of emotion, adrenalin and pressure. That’s all around the derby game.

‘I’ve played a few big derbies in Portugal and England and that derby is one of the best.

‘It’s special to both sets of fans and clubs and then there is the history behind the game and the two cities.

‘It gives you more of a feeling about what it means to the fans of the clubs.’