Wigan Athletic crashed out of the League Cup at the hands of League Two side Bradford after a scoreless 120 minutes at DW Stadium gave way to a penalty shootout, which the visitors took 4-2 to advance to the tournament quarterfinals.
Bradford had won its last six penalty shootouts and converted all four of its efforts from the spot as it went on to win a seventh, with goalkeeper Matt Duke seeing Shaun Maloney blast his kick over the bar before saving an effort from Jordi Gomez, who missed the best of his side’s several chances in extra time, as the Bantams completed a shocking giant-killing following an uneventful game.
The League Two side had brought a passionate crowd to the chilly DW Stadium with 5,000 away tickets sold. Wigan showed less enthusiasm for the tie and turned out in reduced numbers from its first home league win of the season on Saturday
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 after receiving a through ball from Gomez, who had been orchestrating play in midfield. The Argentine attempted to round the keeper but Duke was off his line quickly and got a vital hand to the ball, as he smothered the effort.
The game continued in similar vein after the break as Wigan retained control of the ball but struggled to create chances. As the game went on the away fans grew further in confidence while their side bringing on fresh legs in midfield and attack, and Zavon Hines almost gave them a reason to celebrate when he ran all the way to Wigan defense from inside his own half, but he saw his shot saved by Ali Al-Habsi.
Tension mounted going into the final 10 minutes, as Martinez introduced attackers Maloney and Jean Beausejour to try and win this game in normal time. Maloney threaded a through 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, which saw a powerful Beausejour shot blocked by defender Carl McHugh, Gomez volley wide, and a string of chances fall to the livewire Boselli, one in particular forcing a spectacular save from Duke.
Gomez missed the best chance of the game shortly into the second period of extra time after breaking past the last Bradford defender from a Watson through ball, but he rolled his shot wide from inside the penalty area.
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