Wigan Athletic 3 NK Maribor 1 match report: Nick Powell makes doubly sure of Wigan’s first win in Europe


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The Independent Football

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

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, who led Wigan to their FA Cup triumph last season, thereby allowing them to make their European debut, was watching from the directors’ box as his former side made another piece of history.

After their 0-0 draw with Zulte Waregem in Bruges two weeks ago, it was Powell who broke their scoring duck in the 22nd minute, although the on-loan Manchester United midfielder was indebted to the Maribor goalkeeper 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 again provided the cross for the second goal after 34 minutes, leaving the Cup final hero Ben Watson the simple task of heading past Handanovic.

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

The result left Wigan well positioned on four points in Group D, two behind Rubin Kazan, who defeated Zulte 4-0. Coyle’s Latics will now play the Russian club home and away.