Will Keane’s dramatic late equalizer rescued a point for Wigan at Cardiff City as the worst attack in the Championship was held by the worst defense in a 1-1 draw in south Wales.
The Bluebirds went ahead with nine minutes remaining as Callum O’Dowda fired through a crowded penalty area.
However, Wigan rescued a vital point when Keane finished from close-range to earn the Latics a deserved point.
The draw means Cardiff are now winless in nine games.
The Bluebirds will be furious, having conceded so late, just as they did against Leeds in the FA Cup.
Despite scoring twice against Premier League Leeds United in the FA CupCardiff came into this contest as the lowest scorer in the Championship, with only 20 goals in 26 games.
Therefore it came as a significant blow that their top goalscorer, Callum Robinson, was only fit enough to be on the bench after suffering with illness as they came up against the worse defense in the division.
The stakes were high for this one, even though the quality reflected the lowly league positions of both clubs.
Wigan boss Kolo Toure handed a debut to a former club record, £8m Cardiff signingex-England defender Steven Caulker, who has returned after four-and-a-half years playing in Turkey, in a bid to improve a backline that had conceded 46 goals in 26 games.
The stakes for this contest were extremely high in the Championship relegation battle, with bottom-club Wigan four points behind the Bluebirds, but possibly in better form, with their winless run just six games, as opposed to eight for Cardiff.
However, Wigan have failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last 13 league games, the current longest run without a shutout in the Championship, with Toure’s side conceding four times in each of their last three games.
However, a battle of a leaky defense versus a blunt attack did not produce anything of note in an tepid opening 30 minutes where the only real chance fell to Mark Harris, whose shot was easily saved by Ben Amos.
Cardiff should have gone ahead on 30 minutes, but Isaak Davies headed over from close-range after Sheyi Ojo’s fine run and cross, before his long-range chip was turned over the bar by Amos.
The Latics did not trouble Cardiff until the 38th minute, but when they did, Callum Lang might have scored with a header that drifted inches wide of the post, while Jordan Cousins also fired over before the break.
Bluebirds boss Mark Hudson made three substitutions at the interval, but it was a Wigan substitute, Miguel Azeez who almost broke the deadlock on 55 minutes, but he could not find the net on the stretch as he fired over, before Will Keane’s firm drive was saved by Ryan Allsop at the second attempt.
Wigan looked the more likely side to force a winner and Ashley Fletcher’s shot on 71 minutes was well blocked by Allsop, but the Latics were made to pay for their missed chances.
Cardiff’s opener arrived on 81 minutes as O’Dowda fired through a crowd after Jaden Philogene found him in space.
But the Bluebirds were denied what would have been a valuable win as Wigan piled on the pressure late-on and the pressure told when Keane applied a close-range finish as he reacted fastest to the loose ball.
- 1allsopBooked at 90mins
- 38ngBooked at 70mins
- 26simpsonsBooked at 41minsSubstituted forKipreat 45′minutes
- 8RallsBooked at 21minsSubstituted forRinomhotaat 45′minutes
- 29M HarrisSubstituted forEteteat 45′minutes
- 10OjoSubstituted forRobinsonat 61′minutes
- 39DaviesSubstituted forSawyersat 81′minutes
- 32HughesSubstituted forAasgaardat 90+1′minutes
- 29CaulkerBooked at 79mins
- 4NaylorSubstituted forMagennisat 90+1′minutesBooked at 90mins
- 6cousinsSubstituted forAzeezat 45+4′minutes
- 19LangSubstituted forFletcherat 71′minutes
Match ends, Cardiff City 1, Wigan Athletic 1.
Second half ends, Cardiff City 1, Wigan Athletic 1.
Goal! Cardiff City 1, Wigan Athletic 1. Will Keane (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom left corner.
Attempt blocked. Ashley Fletcher (Wigan Athletic) header from the center of the box is blocked. Assisted by Max Power with a cross.
Josh Magennis (Wigan Athletic) is shown the yellow card.
Offside, Wigan Athletic. Max Power tries a through ball, but Josh Magennis is caught offside.
Attempt blocked. Miguel Azeez (Wigan Athletic) right footed shot from the center of the box is blocked.
Ryan Allsop (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card.
Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Josh Magennis replaces Tom Naylor.
Substitution, Wigan Athletic. Thelo Aasgaard replaces Charlie Hughes.
Callum Robinson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Charlie Hughes (Wigan Athletic).
Kion Etete (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Curtis Tilt (Wigan Athletic).
Attempt missed. Ryan Nyambe (Wigan Athletic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Charlie Hughes.
Foul by Callum O’Dowda (Cardiff City).
Ashley Fletcher (Wigan Athletic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Jaden Philogene (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by James McClean (Wigan Athletic).
Goal! Cardiff City 1, Wigan Athletic 0. Callum O’Dowda (Cardiff City) left footed shot from the center of the box to the bottom right corner.