CAMERON Brannagan sent Oxford United to Wembley with the decisive penalty in their shoot-out victory against Portsmouth.

The two sides could not be separated after 210 minutes of football across the Sky Bet League One semi-final, sending the tie to spot kicks.

Ben Woodburn and John Mousinho, brought on with a minute left specifically for the task, converted coolly.

Anthony Forde and Matty Taylor were also on target, but Simon Eastwood saved from Cameron McGeehan to put the U’s in charge.

And Brannagan smashed in the winning penalty to keep their Championship dream alive.

United had to again come from behind, after Marcus Harness’s classy finish broke the deadlock on 38 minutes.

But on the stroke of half-time James Henry’s inswinging corner was nudged just over the line by Ellis Harrison. The own goal was given by goal-line technology, installed especially for the play-offs.

There was little to choose between the sides from then on, but when it came to the crunch the hosts came out on top.

United named the same 20-man squad, but boss Karl Robinson made two changes to the starting XI from Friday.

Mark Sykes replaced the rusty Ben Woodburn, while a half-fit Taylor was kept in reserve as Mackie came into the side.

The veteran had not scored since September, but within three minutes he came close to opening the scoring with a hard, low shot from 20 yards which was superbly stopped one-handed by Alex Bass.

While United had hoped to make the game more open than at Fratton Park, Portsmouth again did a good job of smothering their opponents.

They looked for Ryan Williams, one of three players brought into the visitors’ line-up, at every opportunity.

Pompey were in control, but it took until the 37th minute to force Eastwood into a save.

The United goalkeeper was beaten from an acute angle in the first leg, but saved from Harrison at point-blank range after Williams’s low cross was not cleared.

It triggered an eventful end to the half, with Bass saving from Browne within seconds.

But the goalkeeper then launched an attack which saw Harness latch on to Harrison’s flick-on, swivel and beat Eastwood with a low shot from the edge of the box.

United were trailing again, only to strike back with the last action of the half.

Henry’s whipped corner under the crossbar caused confusion, with Harrison getting in Bass’s way to send the ball inches over the line.

Under normal league conditions Pompey might have survived, but with goal-line technology installed for the play-offs referee Darren England’s watch buzzed with good news for the hosts.

The interval followed, but after the restart the game had to reset to how it had been before the opening goal.

Henry’s speculative 25-yard effort which fizzed into the cardboard cut-outs in the East Stand was as close as either side came in the 20 minutes after the break.

By then both sides had started to make changes and midway through the half one of those, John Marquis, headed a Ronan Curtis cross against the outside of the far post.

Taylor came off the bench just after the hour in a planned change, but the U’s top scorer had little service as the tight game rumbled on.

Dan Agyei had more of an impact off the bench as United finished the 90 minutes on top, but they could not find a way through so the game went to extra time.

Tired legs saw mistakes start to creep in and Gorrin risked a red card with a lunge on Andy Cannon, but got away with a caution.

It was as exciting as extra time got, with both sides looking dead on their feet.

That sent the tie to penalties, where United held their nerve to keep their season rolling.

Oxford Utd (4-3-3): Eastwood, Long (Woodburn 119), Dickie, Moore, Ruffels, Gorrin (Mousinho 119), Sykes (Hanson 85), Brannagan, Henry (Forde 100), Mackie (Taylor 63), Browne (Agyei 85).

Unused subs: Stevens, Atkinson, Kelly.

Booked: Long, Browne, Dickie, Gorrin, Taylor.

Portsmouth (4-2-3-1): Bass, Bolton (Evans 121), Burgess, Raggett, Seddon (Brown 60), McGeehan, Morris, Williams (Hawkins 114), Harness (Cannon 80), Curtis, Harrison (Marquis 60).

Unused subs: MacGillivray, Naylor, Downing, McCrorie.

Booked: Marquis, Curtis.

Referee: Darren England (South Yorkshire).