Cardiff 1 Latics 2

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A WONDER-GOAL from FA Cup specialist Ben Watson means Wigan Athletic are within 90 minutes of a return to Wembley.

The holders advanced to the last eight with a thoroughly professional performance in South Wales.

Cardiff City's Wilfried Zaha and Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson

Cardiff City's Wilfried Zaha and Wigan Athletic's Ben Watson

Latics weathered an early storm from the hosts and took the lead with 16 minutes on the clock.

Jordi Gomez wriggled his way to the byline, and his pull-back was slotted home at the far post by Chris McCann.

The home side equalised 12 minutes later, with a scrappy goal from Wigan’s point of view.

The defence had numerous chances to clear but failed to do so, allowing Frazier Campbell to rifle home into the bottom corner.

Latics, however, dusted themselves down and continued to ask plenty of questions in attack.

And they were rewarded with their second goal just before half-time.

Gomez was again involved, laying off a short free-kick into the path of Watson.

And the goalscoring hero from last year’s final notched his third goal in his last four FA Cup appearances with a rocket from 30 yards that David Marshall couldn’t get near.

Latics had to hold firm after the break as the Bluebirds threw everything at them.

But goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi was in inspired form to book a place in the hat for the quarter-finals.

FOR FULL MATCH REPORT SEE THE WIGAN EVENING POST (MONDAY) ...