The Latics dominated possession throughout an uneventful 120 minutes but the Bantams' resolute defence were rewarded when Shaun Maloney & Jordi Gomez missed in the penalty shootout
The Latics opened brightly and had an Ivan Ramis header disallowed for offside in the opening 15 but, after failing to further trouble Matt Duke, Jordi Gomez and Shaun maloney missed from the spot, as the Bantams netted all of their efforts from 12 yards.
The League Two side had brought a passionate crowd to the chilly DW Stadium with 5,000 away tickets sold, although the total crowd was sparse, as very few Wigan fans turned out.
Those that did attend saw the side’s young talents Fraser Fyvie, Daniel Redmond, and Callum McManaman get some playing time, while midfielder Ben Watson featured in a back three as Roberto Martinez’ side got off to a confident start with plenty of possession.
The Latics had the ball in the back of the net with just 11 minutes gone as Ivan Ramis headed Ronnie Stam’s free kick past Duke, but the Spaniard’s effort was disallowed for offside.
Minutes later, Mauro Boselli forced a good save from Duke. The Argentine attempted to round the keeper but the former Hull City man was off his line quickly and got a vital hand to the ball as he smothered the effort.
After 25 minutes the Bantams created their first chance of the game through Bermuda international striker Nakhi Wells, who forced Ali Al Habsi to dive at his feet.
As the half ran down the Bantams camped in their own half and began to cancel out their opponents’ possession, and despite some corners and a good run from McManaman, the Latics did not test Duke in goal.
The Latics continued to pressure the visitors after the game and Danny Redmond had a gilt-edged chance to open the scoring, but could only head into the side-netting from Stam's cross.
As the game went on the away fans grew further in confidence while their side brought on fresh legs in midfield and attack, and Zavon Hines almost gave them a reason to celebrate when he ran at Wigan's defence from inside his own half, but saw his shot saved by Al-Habsi.
Tension mounted going into the final 10 minutes as Roberto Martinez introduced Maloney and Jean Beausejour to try and win this game in normal time.
Maloney made a swift impact, threading a ball to Fyvie, but Stephen Darby slid in to block, and shortly Gomez found Boselli in the box but Duke saved once more.
The first period of extra-time opened to heightened urgency from Wigan. A powerful Beausejour shot was blocked by defender Carl McHugh, Jordi Gomez volleyed wide, and a string of chances fell to Boselli, one in particular forcing a spectacular save from Duke.
Time ran out for Wigan, however, and as the match went to penalties, Bradford converted all four of their efforts, while Maloney blasted his kick over the bar before Gomez’s effort was saved by Duke.