Wigan Athletic FC kept their heads to edge past Leeds United AFC in their English FA Cup third-round replay after the Championship outfit equalised three times to take the tie to a penalty shoot-out. Elsewhere, there were welcome victories for Middlesbrough FC and Birmingham City FC but West Bromwich Albion FC's aspirations were ended.
After dominating much of the early stages at Elland Road, Wigan striker Andreas Johansson broke the deadlock midway through the first half, squeezing in the rebound after initially directing Jason Roberts' deft pass on to the post. Leeds responded well and were level five minutes before half-time when David Healy scooped the ball in from point-blank range. Roberts restored the visitors' lead after the interval, but again the tenacious Leeds team fought back and Healy made it 2-2 from the penalty spot just after the hour mark.
The game went into extra time and although Roberts again earned Wigan the advantage with a fine header, it came as little shock when Leeds forced penalties with just five minutes left. The goalscorer was more of a surprise, though, as veteran Gary Kelly hit a sumptuous strike from outside the box – only his fourth goal in almost 500 games for the club. But the crowd's celebrations were soon silenced in the ensuing shoot-out as Healy and Rob Hulse both missed and Wigan will now face Manchester City FC in the next round.
Middlesbrough helped ease some of the pain inflicted by their 7-0 defeat by Arsenal FC at the weekend with a similarly emphatic victory against non-league Nuneaton Borough FC. Chris Riggott, Stuart Parnaby, Yakubu Ayegbeni (2) and Mark Viduka were all on target for the home team as they booked a fourth round meeting with Coventry City FC, although the visitors did pull two late goals back. Birmingham also found cup relief as second-half strikes from Jirí Jarosík and Mikael Forssell ensured a 2-0 triumph at home to Torquay United FC.
Steve Bruce's team will now face Reading FC after Leroy Lita's hat-trick secured a stunning comeback victory against West Brom. The Premiership visitors looked to be coasting after goals from Richard Chaplow carved out a comfortable half-time lead. But Lita scored twice to take the game to extra time before sealing victory in the 93rd minute. Elsewhere, Walsall FC, Cheltenham Town FC and Stoke City FC all won, the latter after a dramatic penalty shoot-out against non-league Tamworth FC.
©UEFA.com 1998-2017. All rights reserved.