Figueroa firecracker revives Wigan hopes

Wigan Athletic 2 Birmingham City 1

Maynor Figueroa does not score many goals but when he does they are almost always special. His dramatic stoppage time strike which dragged Birmingham into the relegation zone was no different as Wigan, the Premier League's bottom club, came from behind to seal a deserved win and breathe new life into their fight to stay up.

Figueroa was awarded the coveted BBC Match Of The Day Goal of the Season award for his finish from inside his own half against Stoke City in December 2009. His 20-yard effort in stoppage time here might not have been as pleasing on the eye, but it could prove one of the most crucial goals in Wigan's history.

Having got back on level terms through Tom Cleverley after Liam Ridgewell had given the visitors a sixth minute lead, they did everything but score.

Roberto Martinez's side were frustrated time and again in their search for a second goal, Ben Foster producing a great save with his foot to thwart Figueroa before the Honduras full-back struck with his right foot.

"It's taken him 100 appearances to score a perfect hat-trick," said Martinez, whose side remain bottom of the table with eight games remaining. "The one against Stoke was with his left foot, he scored a header against Tottenham and now he's scored with his right foot. Obviously it's a very important win but it's impossible to guess the points tally we are going to need. With our goal difference, we're going to need more than 40 points."

The last time Birmingham scored more than two in a League game was against Wigan in December 2009, but McLeish's side must have thought they could repeat that feat when Ridgewell finished from seven yards in the sixth minute after Martin Jiranek's flick-on. But Wigan's first goal in more than five hours eased the nerves of the home fans, Cleverley finishing off a fine 26th minute move from close range after Emmerson Boyce marked his return from injury by teeing up the on-loan Manchester United midfielder.

Birmingham were denied a half-time lead after Sebastian Larsson's free kick in stoppage time rattled the bar but there was only one team in it after the break. "When we conceded the first goal we seemed to lose the plot," said McLeish. "We should have been professional enough to have seen it through. Figueroa's right foot should be to stand on but how the ball finished up in the back of the net is a mystery."

Attendance: 16,421

Referee: Lee Probert

Man of the match: Figueroa

Match rating: 8/10

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Voices
voices
Sport
Roger Federer is greeted by Michael Jordan following his victory over Marinko Matosevic
tennisRoger Federer gets Michael Jordan's applause following tweener shot in win over Marinko Matosevic
News
peopleJustin Bieber accuses paparazzi of acting 'recklessly' after car crash
Arts and Entertainment
Oppressive atmosphere: the cast of 'Tyrant'
tvIntroducing Tyrant, one of the most hotly anticipated dramas of the year
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis