Wigan revived by Maynor Figueroa's late effort against Birmingham

When it comes to the spectacular, Maynor Figueroa is Wigan Athletic's daddy.

Wigan revived by Maynor Figueroa's late effort against Birmingham The unheralded Honduran's dramatic late winner against Birmingham City lacked the aesthetic beauty of hisreigning goal-of-the-season effort against Stoke City, but it could prove to be infinitely more valuable.

Figueroa, 27, had not scored since his 60-yard free-kick embarrassed Thomas Sorensen in December 2009, but his sense of occasion led to him joining an attack in the second minute of injury time. One hefty swing of the right boot later and Wigan were toasting a win that leaves them two points shy of safety. " "I don't try many shots with my right, but their goalkeeper made a good save from me a few minutesearlier, when I had a chance with my left," he said. "And when one doesn't work, you have to use the other one."

Ben Foster, the goalkeeper in question, was unsighted but should have done better for the goal. And he had been also at fault for the 25th-minute equaliser to Liam Ridgewell's early volley, turning Emmerson Boyce's low centre on to Tom Cleverley's toes.

There is no doubt that he is being over-exposed. No top-flight goalkeeper has made more than the 183 saves he has pulled off.

Numbers also put into context the size of the task ahead for those in the bottom half. Birmingham fans will now be reflecting that the recent League Cup win, like Norwich's in the same competition 26 years ago, may be followed by relegation. Yes, injuries have bedevilled Alex McLeish's team since those heady heights against Arsenal but their pragmatic manager refused to gloss over the cracks of their worst display during his tenure. "The games obviously now take on greater importance, the pressure intensifies and it is about who can hold their nerve," he warned.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Richard Gibson at DW Stadium, for The Guardian on Monday 21st March 2011 07.00 Europe/London

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