Sunderland suffered Wembley heartbreak as they lost 5-4 on penalties against League One promotion rivals Portsmouth.
After the game ended 2-2, Sunderland and Portsmouth exchanged penalties with Lee Cattermole’s saved effort proving to be the only miss.
Many Sunderland fans felt it was harsh on Cattermole, who has been excellent all season.
The veteran midfielder embodies passion and pride with his performance over 120 minutes and made some crucial blocks and interceptions in midfield.
But unfortunately for the ex-Middlesbrough man, he will be remembered for the decisive penalty miss.
Cattermole stepped up to take Sunderland’s second penalty and hit the ball to Craig MacGillivray’s left but the Pompey stopper palmed it away.
Sunderland failed to bounce back from going one behind in the shoot-out as all five Portsmouth players buried their efforts.
It was a gut-wrenching moment for Cattermole, who has been at Sunderland for nearly 10 years. Having been part of back-to-back relegations, a Wembley win would have meant so much to the 31-year-old.
Cattermole still has the chance to redeem himself by helping Sunderland win promotion and he will play a key part in that battle. Here are some tweets from Sunderland fans defending Cattermole.
Portsmouth probably deserved winner for their play after the first half. Confusing subs by Ross but bad luck in the end. Catts one of our better players throughout, shame about the penalty but kudos to him for stepping up when others didn’t #SAFC #safclive 🤷♂️
— Chris Van Dyke (@cvd_yk) March 31, 2019
Just to clear this up. Lee Cattermole did not take a bad penalty. He struck it well and with power. The only reason it didn’t go in was because of a very good save.
— SunderLAD (@LadSunder) March 31, 2019
— Craig Gordon (@safccraig7) March 31, 2019
One observation I will definitely take from today’s game is that, to my mind, Honeyman is captain in name only. Cattermole is the true leader of this team, and boy, does it show right now. That lad has got balls, pride, and a bucketload of determination. #SAFC 🔴⚪️🔴⚪️
— Philip West (@Philip_RJ89) March 31, 2019
Gutted, especially for Catts. Now to get back to the league, massive month ahead #safc
— Reece Hanson (@RGHanson93) March 31, 2019
— Dave Dhannoo (@daviddhannoo) March 31, 2019
— Fiona Tench (@MissFETench) March 31, 2019
Catts had a good game today and it was a good save from the keeper. He’ll come back stronger! #safc
— Andrew Westgarth (@apwestgarth) March 31, 2019