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Powell brace guides Latics to victory

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04 Oct 2013 00:16:54

Powell brace guides Latics to victory

Wigan marked their first ever home match in Europe with a maiden Europa League victory over Slovenians Maribor.

Owen Coyle's side should have been more than two ahead at half-time and there were a few nervy moments after Maribor pulled one back but a late goal from Nick Powell made it 3-1.

Roberto Martinez, the man who led the Latics to their unlikely FA Cup triumph last season, watched on from the directors' box as his former side made another piece of history.

After the Latics' 0-0 draw with Zulte Waregem in Bruges two weeks ago, the honour of first European goalscorer for the club was still up for grabs.

And it went to Powell in the 21st minute, although the on-loan Manchester United midfielder owed a major debt of thanks to Maribor keeper Jasmin Handanovic.

Jean Beausejour's deflected cross did not look likely to cause any danger but Handanovic inexplicably punched the ball behind him for Powell to nod into an empty net.

Beausejour had more of an intentional hand in the second goal 34 minutes in, sending in a superb cross that left cup final hero Ben Watson the simple task of heading past Handanovic.

The hosts should have been out of sight before Maribor captain Tavares pulled a goal back on the hour mark, but Powell made sure with an individual effort in injury time.

The result left Wigan well positioned on four points in Group D, two behind Rubin Kazan, who hammered Zulte 4-0 earlier tonight and who the Latics play home and away next.

Maribor are the reigning Slovenian champions but have been in poor form, which cost manager Ante Cacic his job at the weekend with Ante Simundza swiftly replacing him.


PA

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