Figueroa savours his double celebration
Wigan 2 Birmingham City 1
Monday 21 March 2011
For some, it is one of the most irritating goal celebrations around. But Maynor Figueroa had the perfect excuse to indulge in a spot of Bebeto-style rocking-of-an-imaginary-baby after his goal earned bottom club Wigan the most dramatic of victories. South America celebrate Father's Day on Saturday and Honduras international Figueroa has recently become a father for the second time.
Little wonder then that the left-back marked his first goal for 15 months with some cradle rocking after dragging Birmingham into the mire with the winner two minutes into stoppage time. "The goal was special because it is Father's Day in Honduras and my second son, Keyban, was born six weeks ago," revealed Figueroa after earning Wigan only their second win in 12 league games. "My other son, Keyrol, was here to see me score. He is four years old, and I think he was more excited than I was.
"But my goal and this victory will only mean something if we can keep on winning and get out of the bottom three. We all feel we can do that, and this was a move in the right direction."
With Tottenham and then Chelsea up next for Wigan, anything other than victory over Birmingham would have edged them closer to the Championship precipice. They fell behind to Liam Ridgewell's early goal before recovering to take charge after Tom Cleverley had equalised midway through the half, and deserved the three points.
Figueroa links up with Honduras this week for international friendlies in Korea and China but the long flights will be more bearable after Wigan came from behind for the second time in three home games to win.
"We're bottom of the league but every player wants to play," said manager Roberto Martinez. "You sometimes find that when teams are struggling, players don't want to be play and are suddenly on the injury list. But it's the total opposite here. Every player wants to help and contribute."
The result left Birmingham, now without a win in four games since defeating Arsenal to win the Carling Cup three weeks ago, second bottom, just one point above Wigan.
Alex McLeish will hope his lengthy injury list, which includes Lee Bowyer and Nikola Zigic, clears quickly. "We have not been able to play the same team since we won the Carling Cup because of injuries," said the Birmingham manager. "Zigic is out, Bowyer is out, Keith Fahey is out, these are all valuable players and they all helped us win the Carling Cup.
"We haven't been able to put the same team out since then. That said, we were all over the place for Wigan's equaliser. It was not so much a beautiful move by Wigan, our defence was all over the place. Players were running out of position and we ended up with a big gap between the centre-backs."
Scorers: Wigan Cleverley 25, Figueroa 90 B'ham Ridgewell 6. Subs: Wigan Sammon 6 (Moses, 63), Rodallega 7 (Di Santo, 63), Diame (N'Zogbia, 90). Birm'ham Davies 6 (Jiranek, 14), Bentley 6 (Beausejour, 57), Martins 5 (Mutch, 63). Booked: Wigan Alcaraz, Figueroa, Moses B'ham Davies. Man of match Boyce Rating 7. Possession Wigan 54% B'ham 46%
Attempts on target Wigan 13 Birmingham 5
Referee L Probert (South Gloucs) Att 16,421
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