Keane rescues late point for Wigan to deny Cardiff much-needed win
An equaliser deep into stoppage-time by striker Will Keane rescued a point for Wigan in a 1-1 draw with Cardiff.
The Bluebirds looked set for a vital victory after Irish wing Callum O’Dowda scored with a side-footed volley from a Jaden Philogene cross in the 82nd minute.
But, with the Cardiff City Stadium crowd getting ready to roar their approval of a first win in nine matches, Keane scrambled home a leveller that left them stunned.
The result keeps the Latics, still winless since boss Kolo Toure took over in late November, bottom of the Sky Bet Championship table.
And it denies Cardiff the opportunity to put some breathing space between themselves and their relegation rivals. The Bluebirds remain in a perilous position just above the drop zone.
Boss Mark Hudson will be fuming that his defence switched off just moments before the final whistle when victory looked all but secure.
Yet, on the balance of the match as a whole, he can perhaps have few complaints.
For much of the afternoon, the quality from both teams was awful.
The opening half was desperately scrappy and disjointed, with neither side managing an effort on target. Both sides knocked square passes and planted hopeful balls into the channels, largely to no avail.
Cardiff attacker Isaak Davies came closest, glancing a header just wide from close range from a Philogene cross.
Other than that, a sparse-looking crowd witnessed an assortment of long-range shots at both ends, all of which flew harmlessly high and wide.
For Wigan boss Toure, the half-time stalemate was probably viewed as progress given his side had shipped 12 goals in their last three league games.
For his Cardiff counterpart Hudson, it will have come as no surprise.
The Bluebirds are comfortably the lowest goalscorers in the Championship having found the net just 20 times in their 27 outings before kick-off.
Unless Hudson, before the closure of the current transfer window, can somehow preside over recruitment that delivers his team a cutting edge, the consequences for the Welsh club could be dire.
The Cardiff boss made three substitutions at the interval in a bid to ignite his side, one of whom was striker Kion Etete for Mark Harris.
With the wind at their backs, there was more thrust about the Bluebirds as the second half progressed, but still no clear-cut chances carved out.
It was Wigan who came closest, first-half substitute Miguel Azeez firing a bouncing ball over the bar in the 55th minute and striker Keane forcing Cardiff goalkeeper Ryan Allsop to parry his 20-yard shot around the post just after the hour.
It looked like they would rue the missed opportunities until Keane’s late intervention.