Pompey are just one win away from Wembley after beating Scunthorpe in the quarter-finals of the Leasing.com Trophy.
Cameron McGeehan struck the winning goal after John Marquis’ early opener had been cancelled out by Abo Eisa.
It means the Blues are still in with a shout of becoming the first side to win the competition in successive seasons.
And Joe Gallen was thrilled that they found a way to see off their lively opponents to reach the last four.
Pompey’s assistant manager said: “Scunthorpe – although they’re mid-table in League Two – have a very experienced side and it was a tough game for us.
“We made some changes, but still fielded a strong team and are absolutely delighted to get through to the semi-finals.
“It perhaps wasn’t as fluid as it could have been at home, but we did enough to get the win and I thought we deserved it overall.
"We made some changes, but still fielded a strong team and are absolutely delighted to get through to the semi-finals."
“We knew the opposition would come out and have a bit more of a go in the second half and they scored a decent effort that left us a bit disjointed.
“But there was a little bit of a rejig in midfield and suddenly we had a few chances, with Cameron getting his first goal.”
Jack Whatmough came through the full 90 minutes in his first senior appearance for almost a whole year.
Gallen said: “It’s fantastic to have him back and that will do his confidence the world of good. He played very well and is just a great defender to have.
“He’s calm on the ball, wins plenty of headers and doesn’t get ruffled, so fingers crossed that he stays fit and continues to be available for selection.
“It might be tough to ask him to start again on Saturday because he hasn’t played a first team game for a while, but knowing Jack, he could probably go out and do just that.”
Pompey will wait to hear the extent of James Bolton’s injury, with the full-back limping off early in the second half.
Gallen said: “He was complaining about a problem in his thigh and it’s a shame because he was playing really well.
“Hopefully it’s not a muscle injury because that wouldn’t be good news, but we’ll find out later in the week.”