Cardiff takes the lead at the DW Stadium, but Wigan fights back to win the opening day of the season
Last update: 08.03.19 19:11
Wigan defeated Cardiff 3-2 thanks to a world-class strike by Wales international Lee Evans.
Joe Ralls saw his kick-off match for Cardiff canceled by strikes from Michael Jacobs and Josh Windass, but Omar Bogle scored the equalizer again.
However, with 15 minutes to go, Evans made sure the points stayed in Wigan.
Cardiff was fortunate enough not to be reduced to ten men in seven minutes when Ralls caught Evans just below the knee with a ruthless challenge that would have earned him a red instead of a yellow card.
The visitors rubbed salt into the wounds by taking the lead after 20 minutes through Ralls.
The midfielder responded first to a David Marshall parade, knocking past the keeper and two defenders.
Wigan achieved a decent response. Michael Jacobs saw a shot blocked and Joe Garner's attempt seemed to catch Aden Flint's hand just so the referee could continue playing.
Paul Cook clearly considered it a punishment and the Wigan boss received his team's first yellow card in the 24th minute because he had filed an objection to referee David Webb.
Cardiff kept Wigan at bay for the remainder of the half, almost doubling his lead within a minute of the restart.
Bobby Reid was supposed to have converted from 12 yards, but he deflected his shot right past the near post and Wigan had nearly exploited the full advantage within two minutes.
Flint threw Windass a penalty in the box. The Wigan striker scrambled to his feet and took the kick himself, but saw that he hit the left post and rebounded.
Cardiff were then forced to make a goalless change when Neil Etheridge hobbled to be replaced by Joe Day and the first task for the new boy was to get the ball out of his net.
Windass made up for a portion of his penalty by scoring a free-kick from nearly 40 yards to make it to the hour. The ball was deflected off the wall and dragged into the box where Jacobs decided to go home.
Three minutes later, Windass was the Wigan hero as he raced on a steep pass and shot an unstoppable shot into the far corner of the net.
However, Cardiff was not over yet and former Wigan man Bogle was able to bring the ball home 20 minutes from time, much to the delight of visiting fans behind the goal.
Nevertheless, both teams went in search of a winner and it was Wigan who scored the fifth goal of an incredible competition.
Evans cut in from the left side of the Wigan and curled a great punch from the edge of the box into the upper corner.
Cardiff watched as some goalkeepers were warded off by Wigan's desperate defense and substitute Cedric Kipre almost flew into his own net.
But Wigan should and could have scored a fourth goal in the final seconds, with only Windass's shot landing in the daytime.
Paul Cook: "We look forward to starting a win, if you had asked me at ten to three last Saturday – when we lost 2-0 to Burnley in our last friendly at home and we could not." I would not even lift a leg – that I would have won a gripping game like this, I would have mastered.
"There were two teams that really tried to win a football match, the game had everything and sometimes, as a manager, you're lucky enough to get to the right side in such a game."
Neil Warnock: "It was not something I did not expect, we know exactly how tough this league is, you have to take your chances, and I thought we had a chance to end the game, we did not take it, and the bad defense It did it on the other end. " cost us dear.
"They scored some great goals, but in our view they defended badly, they were avoidable goals, and we have to learn from them, and I think one or two questions were answered on my own today, to be honest." I'm so disappointed because I thought it was a game we could have scored three points for, no matter what. "
Soccer Saturday Super 6 is back
FREE TO PLAY: £ 2m jackpot when £ 2m players participate