Wigan Athletic continued to continue their European adventure with a well fought draw against a well organised if over enthusiastic Kazan side.
Owen Coyle opted to rotate his squad from the side which lost against Blackpool resting five players in Perch Rogne, McManaman, McArthur and McClean with starts for Beausejour, Holt, McCann, Shotton and Crainey.
Wigan started the brighter with Watson controlling the midfield seeking to drive the team forwards with Powell looking lively up front, the away side roared on by approximately forty hardy travelling fans had to work hard to restrict Wigan to long range efforts.
Wigan looked comfortable and Kazan for all their slick passing movements made very little inroads into the Wigan penalty area until slack defending by Barnett allowed a through ball from Mavinga found Prudnikov and the powerful forward fired the ball past the advancing Carson and Kazan had the opening goal against the run of play.
The goal gave Kazan confidence and with Torvinski spraying the ball around with gusto, Wigan’s defence with McCann acting as a sweeper had to be sharp to close down the threats posed by the experienced Russian side.
Wigan’s best chance fell to Gomez but the Spaniard blazed over when well placed following good work by Watson.
Wigan equalised when a fine interpassing move found Powell whose shot flew into the net with Kazan keeper Ryzikhov left stranded.
The rest of the first half degenerated into a midfield battle with both sides organisation’s cancelling each other out.The second half started in much the same vein although as the half went on the tackles began to fly in and referee Mr Meyer showed admirable caution in awarding yellow cards when a couple of tackles must have tempted the issuing of a red card.
Wigan opted to replace Beausejour and Holt with McManaman and Fortune and the two substitutions gave fresh impetus to the Wigan attack. Fortune wasted a good chance when following a lovely turn which wrong footed his marker following a pass from Powell, he broke through on goal but with several Kazan defenders closing in on him he opted to shot , firing a weak shot when Powell was better placed.
McManaman showed a welcome return to form and from one trademark following good work by Fortune run his shot was well saved.
Fortune had another good chance but Ryzikhov produced a fine save to deny the Frenchman.
Full time brought to an end a good performance from Wigan who can consider themselves unlucky not to troop off with all three points.
Team Line Up
Carson…..6, had very little to do.
Boyce…..7, a captain’s performance.
Shotton……7, played well.
Barnett …..6, solid
Crainey ……6, no frills defending
Gomez……5, struggled out of position.
McCann…..7, played well in a sweeper role.
Watson…..6.5, good passing, poor set pieces.
Beausejour……5, had little impact on the game
Powell……8, an oasis of class.
Holt……5, well shackled by the big Kazan defence.
Fortune….7, made a big impact upon coming on.
McManaman…6.5 looked sharp.
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