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Filipovič stunner sends Maribor through

NK Maribor 2-1 Wigan Athletic FC
The Slovenian outfit secured second spot in Group D as a win eliminated the Latics in Uwe Rösler's first game in charge.

Željko Filipovič celebrates after scoring Maribor's winner
Željko Filipovič celebrates after scoring Maribor's winner ©AFP/Getty Images

NK Maribor came from behind to beat ten-man Wigan Athletic FC and secure a place in the knockout stages for the first time in their history.

Jordi Gómez's penalty put Wigan ahead, but the hosts drew level after Chris McCann had been sent off, Dejan Mezga scoring from the spot at the second attempt. Željko Filipovič's second-half stunner then proved the difference for the hosts, who qualify due to their superior head-to-head record with SV Zulte Waregem, beaten 2-0 home by section winners FC Rubin Kazan.

The English side dominated the opening half-hour and Gómez came closest to breaking the deadlock when his curled free-kick cannoned back off a post. He did not need long to make amends, however, giving Wigan the lead via a cool penalty after Nick Powell had been fouled.

Just two minutes later, though, Maribor were level and Wigan founds themselves playing with ten men. McCann was the man to go, given a second booking for handball in the box, and although Scott Carson saved brilliantly from Mezga's penalty, the midfielder was able to score into an empty net as the ball bounced back off the post.

The visitors took full advantage of their extra man early in the second half when Filipovič arrived unchallenged at the edge of the area to expertly curl Mezga's cutback past a diving Carson. Damjan Bohar should have sealed things when he beat the Wigan offside trap but rolled his shot just wide, before Mertelj was dismissed for a second bookable offence to even the numbers.

Wigan pushed forward and Leon Barnett flashed a shot just over the bar, while substitute Marc-Antoine Fortuné had a goal ruled out for offside. Despite those efforts, the visitors were helpless to stop their first foray into European competition coming to an end.

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