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UEFA Europa League
12 December 2013
• Ljudski vrt, Maribor
Referee: S. Marciniak
• Attendance: 9035
D. Mezga 43'
Ž. Filipović 59'
Jordi Gómez 41'
FULL TIME: Maribor 2-1 Wigan - it's congratulations to the Slovenians for making the last 32 of the Europa League despite being bottom of Group D at the start of business today, but commiserations to the visitors for seeing their first-ever European campaign come to an abrupt end. I'm Livio Caferoglu and it's farewell from me!
90' + 4'
IT'S JUST NOT WIGAN'S DAY!! First, a melee emerges in the box from a right-wing cross yet no Latic can get onto the end of it, before Boyce smashes a strike at goal which is cleared off the line!
90' + 3'
Fortune, moments after finding the net despite being offside, is livid after Bohar cheats the referee into signalling another foul near the touchline!
90' + 3'
Barnett attacks a cross admirably - admirable in the sense that he is a defender by trade - but Arghus superbly diverts the ball out for a corner.
90' + 1'
Four minutes of injury time will be played here.
THAT WAS THE CHANCE FOR WIGAN!!!! Fortune is found in the area all on his own, yet Handanovic shows outstanding reflexes to tip the Frenchman's volley away!
Yellow Card Thomas Rogne
Handanovic is beginning to test this writer's patience now. Again the goalkeeper comes off worse for wear from a fair duel with Barnett in the air, despite the defender barely touching him!
Filipovic goes for another spectacular drive central to goal, but Carson is equal this time around!
CLOSE FROM FORTUNE!!!! The substitute striker fizzes an attempt just over the bar from some way out. Meanwhile, Rubin add to their lead to make it 2-0 against Zulte-Waregem.
Gomez is looking for it there as he jumps theatrically over a just challenge from the free kick near the edge of the box.
Yellow Card Mitja Viler
Viler is cautioned for pushing and shoving in a crowded Maribor box, and the referee subsequently orders a retake of the set-piece.
Espinoza wins his side a free kick near the centre-circle. Could Wigan yet be the party poopers in Slovenia?
It's all Wigan now as the ball is played to and fro green shirts around the Maribor box. Beausejour crosses into the area from deep and Fortune makes a slight contact, but it's enough to require a save from Handanovic.
Marcos Magno Morales Tavares
If that's not enough good news for Wigan, Rubin have also taken the lead against Zulte-Waregem from the penalty spot in the other Group D encounter! Meanwhile, tempers boil over as Maribor are furious with Perch for crashing into Handanovic from the resulting free kick.
Yellow/Red Aleš Mertelj
MERTELJ IS SENT OFF!!! It's 10 on 10 now as the midfielder clatters into Gomez, who is probing forward after collecting a pass in the final third, and he is promptly shown a second yellow card.
HOW DID HE MISS THAT?? Bohar can't believe his luck after Brnett inexplicably ball-watched in the build-up, yet he still fires wide with the goal at his mercy!
WIGAN DOUBLE SALVO!!! Espinoza's cross is laid off by Fortune and onto Watson who smacks the ball with the outside of his boot to force Handanovic into a fine save.
OOOH! Perch comes within a fraction of meeting Gomez's flick-on from Beausejour's deep cross! Emphasis on fraction...
Maribor look well on their way towards ending a certain hoodoo - they've never beaten an English side in their history prior to this evening!
Watson picks out Gomez with a fine pass along the ground, but the Spaniard gives away a foul for being too aggressive in his attempts to wrestle possession back.
Yellow Card Aleš Mertelj
There's a momentary pause in play as Mertelj hacks down McArthur, allowing Powell to be replaced by Marc-Antoine Fortune.
Maribor should've made it 3-1, were it not for Fajic's weak header which lands straight at Carson! The in-form striker was unmarked too.
ALMOST AN INSTANT REPLY! Powell goes for the spectacular from some way out, an Handanovic spills the youngster's effort before reacting quickly to snatch the ball back.
Assist Dejan Mezga
Goal Željko Filipović
STUNNING FINISH!!! Wigan's dreams of making the last 32 lie in tatters as Beausejour misreads a spreaded ball to Mezga, who tees up Filipovic for a side-footed wonderstrike! Maribor now just need Rubin to score in the group's other match.
WHAT WAS BARNETT THINKING?! The former Norwich stopper, in no pressure at all, brings it all upon himself with a mind-bogging backpass to Carson, and Mertelj comes a whisker away from beating the goalkeeper to the ball
Back to the action at hand, Tavares is shown a yellow for scythering down Perch near the right-hand touchline.
Yellow Card Marcos Magno Morales Tavares
Such has been the tempo of this do-or-die fixture that I haven't yet reflected on the bizarre turn of events towards the end of the first half. Wigan were flying high after Gomez's 41st-minute penalty, but their hopes took a devastating blow when McCann not only conceded a successful spot-kick 20 seconds later, but was also sent off!
Wigan have started to move the ball around quickly like any renowned Premier League outfit. Their experience of playing in England's top flight is definitely rubbing off, even if their final pass is lacking.
AGONISINGLY CLOSE FROM WIGAN!! A sweeping move from the Latics sees Espinoza play in Beausejour down the left, and the Chilean's drilled cross is poked just wide by Powell!
Mertelj is furious as the referee ignores his calls for a free kick following another shoulder-charge with Espinoza. The wing-back is a lucky boy given that he has already been booked.
The Slovenians have started the half in style, as Bohar delightful swivels on the ball down the far left and lays the ball off for Mertelj to blast just over the bar from around 20 yards out!
GOOD STRIKE! Maribor switch play in an instant and Viler rifles a shot towards the near post, yet Carson impressively pushes it onto the side-netting!
We're back under way for the second half!
Just the one subsitute is thrown onto the pitch before the restart, with Ben Watson replacing Callum McManaman. Certainly a tactical change to beset the loss of McCann.
Just a quick score update in Group D's other match - Rubin Kazan and Zulte-Waregem are still goalless, meaning neither of the participants in this match will be able to progress to the knockout stages tonight, regardless of whether a winner emerges.
Two minutes of added time have been played and the score reads Maribor 1-1 Wigan at the break!
Mezga powers through the middle yet can't keep his shot down.
Missed Penalty Dejan Mezga
Penalty save Scott Carson
Goal Dejan Mezga
McCann is shown a second yellow card for deliberately handballing in the box to deny a curling effort, and Mezga's spot-kick, too, is poor as Carson pushes it away, but only onto the post, allowing the midfielder to mop up the rebound!
Yellow/Red Chris McCann
PENALTY TO MARIBOR QUITE INCREDIBLY!!!!!
Penalty Goal Jordi Gómez
GOMEZ SCORES!!! It's quite an awful penalty through the middle but it rolls just under Handanovic's flailing arms.
Yellow Card Arghus
After doing so well to put a leg in the way of Perch's low cross, Arghus is at fault moments later for bringing down Powell in the box! Credit to Gomez for supplying such an inch-perfect pass, and now the midfielder has the chance to put his side in the lead.
PENALTY TO WIGAN!!!!!!
Wigan win yet another corner, this time off Milec who shuts out Beausejour. However, the Chilean's cross is nodded away soon after.
WIGAN HIT THE POST!!!! Gomez steps up and lifts the ball over the wall with just the right amount of bend, but it cannons off the stanchion and a corner is awarded to the Latics!
Tavares clumsily brings down Jordi Gomez on the edge of the box, and Wigan now have a free kick directly central to goal! Filipovic was the fall guy there after gifting the ball back to the Spaniard.
MUCH MORE LIKE IT! That's the Tavares we want to see. The talisman turns his marker and ventures into the box, but no-one can get onto the end of his cross!
Fajic and Mezga play a nice interchange between eachother on the left as Wigan lose the ball again in central midfield. However, a throw is all that comes of it.
Another disappointing piece of play to deceive the powers that be from Maribor as Tavares rolls several times following a perfectly-legit challenge from Perch.
Espinoza has been very much involved in the first half-hour, but he fails to read Beausejour's overlap on the left-hand side.
Shameful play-acting from Mertelj who grossly overreacts in his attempts to con the referee by throwing himself to the ground following a fair duel with Espinoza who is already booked.
That's a let-off for Maribor. Arghus squanders the ball cheaply near his own box, and the rebound falls to Powell who can only strike an effort at the defender.
CLOSE FROM WIGAN!!! McManaman forays down the right channel and sends a tantalising low cross into the box which is destined for Powell, yet Arghus does fantastically well to intervene from behind!
Yellow Card Chris McCann
Wigan need to simmer down here. McCann, just moments after Espinoza, is too shown a yellow card for thrashing his arm into Mertelj's face during a 50-50 duel in the air.
Yellow Card R. Espinoza
Espinoza becomes the first player to be cautioned this evening following a quite reckless shoulder-charge with Mezga.
POWELL!! The Manchester United loanee is ready to find his seventh goal of the season, but the trajectory of his wonderful half-volley near the Maribor D is just too high!
A bit too strong there from Viler, who considerably overhits his pass from a failed free kick.
Powell drives at the Maribor defence, yet he is bread and butter for a solid Arghus who shrugs him off the ball. A deep cross from Beausejour then asks a few questions of the same backline, but Viler heads the danger away confidently.
Filipovic is really beginning to come into his own here as he fires another snapshot at goal from the preceeding corner before breaking up a Wigan move and initiating a counter which Mezga fluffs with a wayward strike.
Great tracking back from Perch to concede just the corner for his side. Filipovic flicks a long pass onto Mezga who takes on McArthur with ease but not the former Newcastle man.
THAT WASN'T FAR AWAY!!! Maribor get their first whiff of the Wigan goal through Filipovic, who steadies himself for a shot on the edge of the box, wrong-footing McManaman in the process, and the final product swerves just wide of Carson's net!
It's been an extremely bright start from the Latics, with Maribor barely getting a sniff. This time it's McManaman who looks to lay off Espinoza with a slide-rule pass down the left, but Milec intercepts at the vital moment.
More neat passing play from Wigan results in McArthur cheaply losing possession in the middle of the park with a floated ball that is far too casual.
CLOSE! Wigan launch an attack from deep and play the ball to Powell, who in turn finds Espinoza darting past him with a through pass, but the Honduran's cross is hacked away.
Wigan kick off proceedings, going from left-to-right.
A little stat for you all... Maribor is Slovenia's second-largest city with a population of 114,000. A far cry from the sleepy hollows of the northern English town that is the home of their club's opponents Wigan.
The players are ready to flood out onto the pitch!
The FA Cup holders sit above Maribor by just a single point, in third place, but still must win at all costs to have any chance of prolonging their debut European adventure - and Rubin still needing to beat their Belgian counterparts.
Wigan will be hoping that new boss Uwe Rosler can take inspiration from Maribor's own change of personnel. Ante Simundza replaced Ante Cacic after just the second matchday of the group stage and they still have an outside chance of making the last 32, providing they can secure their first victory on the road this European campaign and Zulte-Waregem lose to Rubin Kazan in the pool's other encounter.
And last but not least, the mighty Latics: Carson; Beausejour, Barnett, Rogne, Perch; McCann, McArthur; Espinoza, Jordi Gomez, McManaman; Powell.
First up, we have the hosts: Handanovic; Viler, Arghus, Rajcevic, Milec; Bohar, Mertelj, Filipovic, Mezga; Tavares, Fajic.
Hello and welcome to LIVE commentary of the Europa League clash between Maribor and Wigan Athletic. I'm Livio Caferoglu and I'll be guiding you through all the action as it happens in Slovenia! Team news is coming right up.
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