REPORT: Wigan Athletic 2 Sunderland 1

Goals from Will Keane and Callum Lang mean Wigan Athletic are OUT of the League One relegation zone - with only five matches to go - after beating high-flying Sunderland 2-1 at the DW.

Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 8:01 pm
Updated Tuesday, 13th April 2021, 8:02 pm
Will Keane celebrates scoring Wigan's first goal

The Black Cats saw their automatic promotion hopes dashed by a second damaging defeat in the space of four days.

But a second success for Latics in the same period means Leam Richardson's men are now finally above the dreaded dotted line.

Sunderland had taken the lead just after the half-hour mark through top scorer Charlie Wyke, only for Will Keane to equalise just before half time.

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The returning Callum Lang put Latics ahead 13 minutes after the restart with a deadly finish from a yard, after Joe Dodoo's second crucial assist.

And the winning margin could and should have been even wider, only for Keane to miss a couple of glorious chances to seal it in the final quarter.

Latics swap places in the table with Northampton - who now slip into the bottom four - and now have their fate in their own hands

Buoyed by the drubbing of Doncaster three days earlier, Latics started well and took the game to Sunderland.

George Johnston found himself in a good position in the centre of goal, but his header was easily saved by Lee Burge.

The Sunderland goalie denied Keane moments later, before Latics had their first scare at the other end.

The defence was initially unable to clear a Sunderland corner but, after a scramble in the box, Josh Scowen didn't get hold of his shot and the chance had gone.

A clever free-kick from Sunderland saw Aiden McGeady try his luck from 25 yards, with the ball being turned round the post by Jamie Jones.

But the Black Cats were gaining the upper hand, and they did take the lead on 32 minutes.

It was far too easy, too, with McGeady affording the freedom of the right wing before centring the ball.

With the Latics defence all claiming offside, Wyke was in acres of space, and slotted the ball home from close range.

Credit Latics, their attempts at a response were admirable and underlined the character in the camp.

Viv Solomon-Otabor's cross found Funso Ojo, whose header was saved by Burge.

Then Lang was able to fashiona shooting chance for himself from 18 yards, with Burge able to touch it round the post.

With half-time approaching, Latics turned the screw and found a leveller three minutes before the break.

Lee Evans' corner found Keane via Dodoo, with the ex-Manchester United junior controlling well before lashing the ball home.

Keane had another chance seconds before the interval, but his volley from Solomon-Otabor's cross was straight into the turf and the ball looped harmlessly over the top.

Latics more than warranted being on level terms at the break after going toe-to-toe with the Wearsiders.

And they hit the front 13 minutes after the restart when Evans' cross was hooked back in by Curtis Tilt towards Dodoo.

The forward elected not to shoot but to steer the ball back across goal, and Lang was on hand to pick his spot from a yard.

Sunderland's unease was shown five minutes later, when Lee Johnson elected to make FOUR substitutions to shake his side into shape.

But Latics continued to press, and brilliant work from Lang saw Keane handed a glorious shooting opportunity from 12 yards.

Unfortunately, the finish was high and wide - and Sunderland knew they'd had a massive let-off.

Keane again failed to hit the target from a good position, before he and Solomon-Otabor gave way to Corey Whelan and Thelo Aasgaard to help see out the closing stages.

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