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UEFA Europa League
7 November 2013
• Central'nyj stadion Kazan', Kazan'
Referee: H. Gocek
• Attendance: 5579
O. Kuzmin 22'
Wigan return to European action in three weeks time in the crunch home tie against Zulte Waregem with whom they shared a 0-0 drawing in the previous meeting whilst Rubin Kazan, already qualified, host Maribor. Thanks for joining me, Max Bentley, on this live commentary. Until next time, goodbye.
As things stand with Zulte Waregem leading Maribor 1-0, Wigan will still be in second place in Group D. Owen Coyle will be particularly disappointed this evening that one defensive lapse in concentration has proved so costly. However, qualification to the knockout stages is still in their hands.
FT: RUBIN KAZAN 1-0 WIGAN. Oleg Kuzmin's first-half goal gives the Russian side a crucial three points to take them into the group stages. In truth, Kurban Berdyev's men were good value for the win and only came under threat from the visitors late on. Thomas Rogne came desperately close to the equaliser when he powered a header against the crossbar but Wigan could not find a way past Sergei Ryzhikov.
90' + 3'
Wigan win a free kick just outside the box but Jordi Gomez's effort strikes the wall and neither Espinoza or Fortune can turn in the rebound. Time is running out for Owen Coyle's side.
90' + 2'
Rubin have another chance to wrap up the win but Ryazantsev cannot find the top corner with his finessed effort from inside the box. Can Wigan launch one more attack?
90' + 1'
IT SHOULD BE 2-0! With Wigan committing bodies forward, Rubin break and Wakaso surges down the left but with three men in the middle to aim for he hits his cross straight into the sole Wigan defender, Crainey. What a waste!
WIGAN GO CLOSE! Gomez delivers a corner from the right and McClean makes a brilliant flick at the front post which shaves agonisingly past the outside of the far post. All it needed was a touch and that would have been 1-1.
Rubin come close to scoring again when Eremenko's brilliant ball splits the Wigan defence but Prudnikov's shot is stopped excellently by a strong hand from Nicholls. It would not have counted however as the linesman's flag was raised.
Rubin nearly wrap up the points late on when Eremenko spots the run of Wakaso out wide. The Ghanaian attempts to slide a low ball across the goalmouth for newly-introduced substitute Prudinkov but Nicholls rushes off his line to smother the ball.
WIGAN HIT THE BAR! The Latics come desperately close to finding the equaliser as Espinoza's inch-perfect cross is met by the head of Rogne who sends a thumping header against the woodwork. Rubin are looking nervous here.
Powell capitalises on a mistake from Sharonov at the back but his ball towards McClean is disappointing and M'Vila, not for the first time, sweeps up the danger.
CHANCE FOR WIGAN! Fortune receives Gomez's throw-in and rolls the challenge of Kislyak all too easily but he can only fire a shot disappointingly into the side netting.
Rubin are sitting back a little here as they look to hold on to their slender lead which would guarantee their progress to the knockout stages. A dangerous tactic from the Russian side?
Wigan are throwing men forward in search of an equaliser and McArthur strikes a fine half volley from the edge of the box which strikes Kislyak. That looked as if it was heading on target.
Rubin respond with a change of their own as exciting Ghanaian attacker Mubarak Wakaso replaces Dmitriy Torbinski.
Wigan make their final change as Jordi Gomez replaces Calum McManaman. The young winger has been well contained by the Rubin defence today.
There has been a goal in the other game in group D and it is good news for Wigan as Zulte Waregem have taken a 1-0 lead at Maribor.
Rubin work the ball around the box neatly and Eremenko lays it off for M'Vila who leans back and slices a shot horribly off target. Aside from that, he has hardly put a foot wrong today.
Owen Coyle decides to make a second attacking substitution as Marc Antoine Fortune replaces Grant Holt. There are just under 20 minutes remaining for Wigan to find an equaliser.
Kuzmin and Ryazantsev combine excellently down the right again but the latter's goalbound effort is blocked crucially by Rogne. Kuzmin then heads wide from the resulting corner.
Yellow Card James McClean
James McClean is the next to be cautioned after a mistimed sliding tackle on Natcho.
POWELL GOES CLOSE! The Manchester United loanee produces some brilliant footwork to jink past three burgundy shirts before sending a left-footed shot narrowly wide of the target.
Yellow Card Stephen Crainey
Crainey is the second Wigan player to be booked after a late challenge on Ryazantsev.
CHANCE FOR RUBIN! The Russian side again enjoy a patient build up before Ryazantsev sends a shot from the edge of the box narrowly wide of the post. Moments later Natcho sends an effort over the bar.
Rubin are starting to overpower Wigan here and you sense that a second goal is coming. The Russian side do seem to be lacking that clinical edge up front however and they will be hoping Rondon can make a return soon.
Rubin threaten again when Torbinski finds space on the right corner of the box. However, his cutback is too heavy for Eremenko who can only strike a shot straight into the nearest Wigan defender.
Wigan make their first change and it is an attacking one as Nick Powell comes on for James Perch. The on-loan Manchester United man is Wigan's highest goalscorer in this competition.
CHANCE FOR RUBIN! Kislyak's pass splits the Wigan defence and Mukhametshin advances through on goal and tries to round Nicholls but the goalkeeper anticipates the striker's decision excellently and smothers the ball.
Rubin continue to look vulnerable from high balls into the box and Ryzhikov flaps again from Shotton's long throw as Barnett sends a miskicked shot against the bar. It would not have counted however as the referee had deemed that there was a foul against the goalkeeper.
Rubin have clearly identified McManaman as the Wigan dangerman and every time he picks up the ball, he is surrounded by two or three burgundy shirts. The tactic is working well so far as the winger has made very little impact.
Yellow Card César Navas
Cesar Navas is shown a yellow card after a nasty challenge through the back of Holt. He once famously got a seven-game ban for breaking an opponent's jaw.
Yann M'Vila has provided an excellent shield in front of the Rubin back four and he continues to spring the attacks from deep. The Russian side are beginning to show their quality in possession.
James McClean produces some excellent dribbling to jink past three Rubin players before flinging himself to the turf under minimal contact. The referee tells the player to get back on his feet but decides not to show the yellow card.
Espinoza bursts into the box for Wigan but his powerful left-footed effort is well turned behind by Natcho for a corner. The Latics opt to play it short but cannot muster an attempt on Ryzhikov's goal.
Ryan Shotton suffers a rather embarrassing moment for Wigan as he sends a throw-in straight out of play. Can the Latics bounce back in the second half to preserve their aspirations for a place in the knockout stages.
Wigan get the second half underway in Kazan. There is a change for the hosts as Syarhey Kislyak is on to replace Chris Mavinga who presumably has picked up an injury. Surprisingly it is the same Wigan eleven.
HT: RUBIN 1-0 WIGAN. Oleg Kuzmin's goal gives the Russian side a deserved lead at the break. Kurban Berdyev's side have bossed possession though they have not tested Lee Nicholls as much as they would perhaps have liked. Wigan have struggled to fashion a clear cut chance so far but they have caused problems when lumping the ball into the box. Can Owen Coyle's side respond after the break?
This is a good spell for Wigan and Crainey's long ball pumped into the box is flapped at by Ryzhikov but the goalkeeper's blushes are spared as Mavinga hoofs the ball to safety.
McClean delivers a corner from the left but Holt is leaning back and cannot generate enough power on his header, allowing Ryzhikov to make a comfortable save.
GREAT CHANCE FOR WIGAN! McClean whips a fantastic free kick into the box which just evades Barnett before going inches past the post. The Rubin defence do look vulnerable from those situations.
Yellow Card Dmitriy Torbinskiy
Torbinski picks up a yellow card after a lunge on McManaman. The young Wigan winger has not seen too much of the ball so far.
PENALTY APPEALS TURNED DOWN AT BOTH ENDS. First Ryazantzev goes down under a challenge from Crainey before Espinoza flings himself to the ground at the other end. However, the referee gets it right in both instances and waves play on.
Yellow Card James Perch
James Perch picks up the first booking of the game after bundling Torbinski to the turf. He has a bit of a reputation for picking up yellow cards.
As things stand, Rubin will be heading through to the group stages whilst a Maribor win over Zulte Waregem would see Wigan drop out of the qualification places.
Wigan are looking to exploit their opponents via route one football and Holt wins the flick on from a free kick but there is nobody behind him to meet it. The Wigan substitutes have blankets over their legs on the bench, it's a chilly evening in Kazan.
Rubin are having some joy down the right but Kuzmin cannot quite get on the end of Ryazantsev's return pass. McClean needs to offer Crainey more protection - it was his failure to track Kuzmin's run which led to the opening goal.
Wigan are starting to look for the aerial prowess of Holt and he escapes the surveillance of Navas to send a header from Espinoza's cross just over the bar.
Ryan Shotton lobs a long throw into the Rubin box but the Russian side defend excellently to get the ball clear. Wigan have created very little so far.
The Russian side look to snatch a second in quick succession but Ryazantsev can only slice his shot well wide of the target.
Assist Bibras Natcho
Goal Oleg Kuzmin
RUBIN TAKE THE LEAD! Oleg Kuzmin is the goalscorer as he makes a clever run in behind McClean to latch onto Natcho's accurate pass before thumping a shot beyond Nicholls.
Rubin are not in any hurry to rush their passes here as they wait patiently to build from the back. Neither goalkeeper has been tested so far.
There is a stoppage in play here as Sharanov goes down under the challenge of two Wigan players. The 37-year-old Rubin captain should be okay to continue however.
Considering this is Wigan's first European campaign, you would have to say it has been a success so far. Their players have really stepped up to the occasion when required and have not looked out of place with some of Europe's most experienced and finest.
James McClean has looked bright for Wigan so far and he skips past the challenge of Sharonov but there is no blue and white shirt to meet his cross towards the front post. From the resulting corner, Rogne cannot quite divert his effort on target.
WHAT A CHANCE FOR RUBIN! After Mavinga has a penalty appeal turned down, Eremenko's disguised reverse pass opens the Wigan defence but Ryazantsev miscues from only a few yards out.
James McClean capitalises upon an error by Kuzmin down the left but his low fizzed cross into the box is well held by Ryzhikov, with Holt ready to pounce.
Natcho looks to play a ball beyond the Wigan defence for Mukhametshin but Rogne is in the right place to make a crucial interception. Owen Coyle will be relatively pleased with how side have coped so far.
It's been a slow start in Kazan with neither side looking particularly dangerous in the final third. Espinoza looks to launch a counter attack for Wigan but he rushes his pass and it is too heavy for Holt.
Incidentally, the other game in Group D this evening is Maribor vs Zulte Waregem.
However, it is important for Wigan fans to remember that Rubin Kazan produced one of the greatest European upsets when they defeated Barcelona at the Camp Nou four years ago.
James McArthur is fortunate to escape a booking after a late challenge on M'Vila. The home side are enjoying the majority of the possession early on.
The good news for Wigan however is that Rubin are winless in their last five games in all competitions. If Wigan can the win the FA Cup final, surely they can win tonight!
Incidentally both sides have been in disappointing domestic form. Rubin sit in 12th place in the Russian Premier League whilst Wigan occupy 10th position in the English Championship.
Rubin Kazan get the ball rolling. Can they cement their place in the knockout stages with a win? Let's find out...
There are a lot of empty seats in the stadium tonight as Turkish referee Huseyin Gocek prepares to get this contest underway.
The teams emerge from the tunnel and onto the field of play. Rubin are in their traditional burgundy shirts with Wigan in their familiar blue and white jerseys. Captains James McArthur and Roman Sharanov begin the handshakes between the two sides.
It is a 227-mile trip from Wigan to Kazan but there are 150 loyal Latic supporters in the stands this evening. Wigan were the only team entering the Europa League on matchday one this season with no past experience of European football.
Ryan Shotton, Leon Barnett and Grant Holt are the only players in Wigan's starting eleven who played a fortnight ago. An injury to Scott Carson means 21-year-old Lee Nicholls starts in goal whilst Wigan's top European goalscorer, Nick Powell, is on the bench. Owen Coyle opts for three natural defensive midfielders which suggests he has come here with an intention to keep things tight.
Rubin Kazan make three changes to the side which drew 1-1 at the DW Stadium. Cesar Navas, Bibras Natcho and Ruslan Mukhametshin come into the side with Ivan Marcano, Syarhey Kislyak and goalscorer Aleksandr Prudnikov dropping out. Star striker Salomon Rondon is sidelined with a broken foot.
WIGAN (4-3-3): Nicholls; Shotton, Barnett, Rogne, Crainey; Perch, McArthur; Espinoza, McManaman, McClean; Holt.
RUBIN KAZAN (4-2-3-1): Ryzhikov; Kuzmin, Cesar Navas, Sharonov, Mavinga; Natcho, M'Vila; R.Eremenko, Torbinski, Ryazantsev; Mukhametshin.
Without further ado, here are today's lineups...
Incidentally, a win for Rubin Kazan tonight would send the Russian side through to the Europa League knockout stages for the fifth successive season.
The two sides met a fortnight ago at the DW Stadium with Nick Powell ruling out Aleksandr Prudnikov's opener in a tightly-contested 1-1 draw. I'm sure that Owen Coyle would be delighted with another point this evening as Rubin have not lost a home European game in Kazan for 22 games (W13 D9). It is worth pointing out however that Rubin were forced to play some of their European games in Moscow where they did suffer defeat.
When Wigan were relegated from the Premier League last season, even the most optimistic of Latics fans did not expect a good European run. However, Owen Coyle's side have overcome the odds so far and progress to the knockout phase is a real possibility. Wigan currently sit second in UEFA Europa League Group D unbeaten after three games although their sternest test comes today against a Rubin Kazan outfit who top the group. Can Wigan upset the Russian heavyweights this evening? Bringing you all the action from the Central Stadium in Kazan, my name is Max Bentley.
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