Late Aasgaard goal earns Wigan win over Millwall in fight to beat the drop
Wigan kept alive their faint hopes of avoiding relegation from the Sky Bet Championship with a thrilling 2-1 victory over play-off chasing Millwall at the DW Stadium.
The Latics lead after just 14 minutes through a Will Keane strike but that was cancelled out on the half hour by George Saville.
However, Thelo Aasgaard snatched three much-needed points five minutes from time to leave Wigan four points from safety with just two matches remaining.
Knowing they simply had to win, Wigan – boosted by a raucous atmosphere in the home ends – flew out of the traps and were ahead inside 14 minutes.
Callum Lang did all the damage down the right, whipping over a cross that visiting goalkeeper George Long could only parry out.
It did not fall perfectly into the path of Keane, but Wigan’s top scorer managed to wrap his left foot around the ball and muster enough power on the shot to beat the diving Long.
Lovely footwork from Lang almost led to a second goal, with the Wigan Academy graduate skipping past two defenders on the edge of the box. He stabbed the ball towards goal but, unfortunately for the home side, it rolled beyond the far post.
Millwall had struggled to put three passes together but pulled themselves level on the half-hour mark with their first attack.
The Wigan defence was unable to prevent the cross coming in and Saville steered the ball home from close range.
With Wigan wondering how on earth they were not winning, Millwall came close to a second goal within moments.
Again a cross from out wide provided the danger, but this time Callum Styles could not quite get his studs onto the ball at the far post for what would have been a tap-in.
Wigan had a massive shout for handball at the start of the second half waved away by referee Bobby Madley after skipper Tendayi Darikwa’s shot appeared to hit the hand of a defender.
At the other end, a snapshot from Zian Flemming forced a good parry from Jamie Jones.
Jones then almost undid his good work by collecting the ball from the resulting Millwall corner and gifting it straight back to the opposition.
Scott Malone attempted an immediate shot but, as he made his way back towards his goal, Jones somehow managed to make the save with his right leg.
With Wigan enjoying another good spell, Max Power saw a goalbound shot headed behind for a corner.
Keane was almost presented with a tap-in at the far post, after a whipped cross from substitute Charlie Hughes was flicked on by fellow replacement Ashley Fletcher at the near post.
Wigan’s goalscorer was unable to turn the ball home and was perhaps relieved to turn and see the offside flag up.
Referee Madley angered Wigan again with 15 minutes left when Lang looked to be kicked as he shot from goal, the official whistling but then signalling for only a corner.
But Wigan were not to be denied and forced what proved to be the winning goal with five minutes remaining.
Lang again was the creator, cutting in from the right on to his left foot. Instead of shooting, however, he played the ball sideways to fellow-substitute Aasgaard, who fired past Long to the delight of most inside the DW.