Tony Adams was able to savour his first taste of success as Portsmouth manager after Jermain Defoe's last-gasp penalty stole a 2-1 win at Sunderland on Saturday.
Adams had lost his first two matches following his appointment as Harry Redknapp's successor and looked on course for another defeat when Djibril Cisse gave Sunderland an early lead at the Stadium of Light. But Nadir Belhadj equalised after half-time and England forward Defoe buried an injury time spot-kick to seal Portsmouth's first win in six matches and leave Sunderland with just one win in seven games.
Roy Keane's team must have thought it would be their day when Andy Reid's through-ball allowed Cisse to hold off Sol Campbell and the Frenchman's finish was assured as David James came from his line in vain. Portsmouth might have been level within a minute when Peter Crouch chested down Lassana Diarra's cross beyond the far post and squared for Defoe, but his effort was charged down by Anton Ferdinand.
The Black Cats came within inches of a second goal with 16 minutes gone when Kieran Richardson's left-foot shot from distance came back off the foot of the post with James completely wrong-footed. It then took a good reaction save from James to deny Cisse's firm header two minutes later.
Portsmouth might have fallen further behind when Reid once again split their defence to find Cisse, but this time James managed to parry his shot. Campbell's long free-kick three minutes before half-time caused the Black Cats problems when first Nyron Nosworthy and then Ferdinand headed the ball straight up in the air, but Crouch was unable to capitalise.
Portsmouth took control at the start of the second half and drew level through Belhadj in the 51st minute. The Algerian defender, on loan from Lens, collected Niko Kranjcar's pass and blasted a curling low shot past Marton Fulop and into the bottom corner.
Sunderland's composure dissolved in an instant and they might have been behind within two minutes had Defoe been more accurate. The England striker fired wide first to the right of Fulop's goal and then to the left after working good positions for himself on the edge of the box.
Cisse had an effort rightly disallowed for offside midway through the half
As the game entered its final 20 minutes, Sunderland were again in control, although Pompey, who had replaced Crouch with Kanu, continued to threaten on the break. Defoe was denied by Fulop with three minutes remaining, but he made no mistake when, after Glen Jonson had been tripped by El Hadji Diouf, sending the keeper the wrong way from the penalty spot to snatch victory.