English Premiership

Wigan stun Birmingham

2011-03-19 19:55
Maynor Figueroa (AFP)

Wigan - Maynor Figueroa boosted Wigan's bid for Premier League survival as his late goal clinched a dramatic 2-1 win over relegation rivals Birmingham at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

Honduras defender Figueroa has scored just three times in his three-year Latics career, but his latest strike could be hugely valuable to Roberto Martinez's side.

Wigan recovered from Liam Ridgewell's controversial opener to equalise through Tom Cleverley but they looked to have been denied a winner until Figueroa lashed past Ben Foster in stoppage time.

The league's bottom side are now within two points of safety with eight matches remaining after winning for just the second time in 12 league games.

League Cup winners Birmingham slipped further into the dogfight and are now second bottom, just a point above Martinez's men.

Wigan had cause for complaint when Birmingham took the lead after just six minutes.

Martin Jiranek's flick-on appeared to catch three Birmingham players in an offside position on the edge of the Wigan penalty area but with no flag raised Ridgewell reacted quickest to shoot past Ali Al Habsi.

It was Jiranek's last significant involvement as he was replaced by Curtis Davies because of injury soon after.

The substitute's first touch almost created a second goal when he headed Sebastian Larsson's corner back across the six-yard area where Cameron Jerome's shot on the turn was well blocked by Al Habsi.

Apart from Cleverley's early shot the hosts had not threatened but out of the blue the on-loan Manchester United midfielder equalised in the 25th minute.

Ben Watson's brilliant through-ball inside left-back Ridgewell picked out over-lapping right-back Emmerson Boyce and Foster could only push his cross into the path of Cleverley who gratefully accepted the gift inside the six-yard box.

Late in the half Charles N'Zogbia deflected over Boyce's cross from close range while Larsson hit the crossbar with a free-kick.

With time - and matches - running out Martinez made a double attacking change by sending on Hugo Rodallega and Conor Sammon for Franco Di Santo and Victor Moses.

Sammon's flicked header from Cleverley's cross was claimed comfortably by Foster and Wigan kept pressing

With 10 minutes remaining Rodallega had the ball in the net after looping a shot over Foster, but referee Lee Probert ruled the Colombia international had pushed Roger Johnson as they challenged on the edge of the area.

Foster had to scramble to turn aside a late deflected N'Zogbia strike but the England international was stunned when a late shot from Figueroa whistled past him in the 92nd minute.

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