Derek Adams applauded the ‘terrific performance’ of his players following a pulsating Fratton Park clash.
The first leg of the League Two play-off semi-final encounter finished all square at 2-2, ensuring it is fascinatingly poised heading into Sunday’s finale.
The Pilgrims were indebted to two-goal Jamille Matt, yet the on-loan striker was involved in controversy.
Adams insisted he didn’t see the first-half incident in which a headbutt was delivered to the back of Michael Doyle’s head.
Matt could now face retrospective disciplinary action from the Football Association.
Regardless, the manager was delighted with the showing of his players in a thoroughly-entertaining fixture.
Adams said: ‘It was an excellent game. Two very good teams put on a good show for the television audience.
‘Everybody will be pleased to see how good a football match it was. There were four goals and lots of excitement.
‘The atmosphere was fantastic. I think both sets of supporters really came to the party.
‘It was a good footballing match with goals in it.
‘It didn’t really look like a nervy affair. Both teams wanted to win it.’
Marc McNulty opened the scoring in the third minute after Pilgrims skipper Curtis Nelson has been dispossessed.
Yet six minutes later Matt netted with a header after Graham Carey’s cross from the left had posed problems.
Then came the flare up with Doyle, although it was the benches which ended up being punished, with Paul Cook and Paul Wotton sent to the stands.
Matt then produced an overhead kick on 19 minutes to give the visitors a lead they took into half-time.
But on 51 minutes, Gary Roberts scored from the spot after Peter Hartley had fouled McNulty.
Sunday will decide who heads to Wembley, while Adams was full of praise for the player who now has seven goals in 10 starts since joining Argyle in March.
He added: ‘Jamille has been an excellent signing for me from Fleetwood.
‘He has scored seven goals now and I’m delighted he has been able to do that.
‘It was a terrific performance from the players.
‘We have come away from home and scored two goals, after going 1-0 down.
‘But we have given away two bad goals.
‘Portsmouth haven’t had to work for them and I think that’s the disappointment of the night.’