Date: 2nd August 2008 at 5:25pm
Written by:

Egyptian star Amr Zaki bagged a last-minute winner as Steve Bruce’s Wigan Athletic came out on top in a five-goal thriller against Wednesday at Hillsborough.

The clash with the Latics was the final friendly fixture of the Owls’ pre-season campaign, and the Hillsborough faithful will have been relatively happy with what they saw, despite the last minute winner.

Steve Bruce’s men put South Yorkshire neighbours Barnsley to the sword, 6-0 at Oakwell in mid-week, and the performance on Saturday was a big improvement from the disappointing 1-0 defeat at Chesterfield in midweek.

Owls boss Laws put Marcus Tudgay out on the right-wing, with Etienne Esajas on the bench, while Deon Burton partnered Akpo Sodje in attack.

The Latics had brought a strong squad to S6 to give Wednesday a real test before next week’s season opener at home to Burnley, with Emile Heskey, Michael Brown, new signing Lee Cattermole, Mario Melchoit and Marlon King all starting.

And it was the visitors who made the brighter start, Heskey bagging the opener for Bruce’s Premiership side after just 14 minutes.

But, the midweek match with Chesterfield aside, Wednesday have been impressive in attack this close season and it took just three minutes for the hosts to level as Jermaine Johnson rounded the ‘keeper and made it 1-1 minutes later.

But the Latics took the lead in to the half-time interval as Titus Bramble steered the ball by Lee Grant just after the half-hour mark.

Laws made just the one change at the half-time break with Etienne Esajas coming on to replace goalscorer Jermaine Johnson, with Tudgay remaining on the wing for the start of the second 45.

And it was Tudgay who won the Owls’ penalty not long after the restart when he was felled inside the box by Figueroa, leaving Deon Burton a golden chance to level for Wednesday, a chance he duly despatched.

But it was Wigan’s new signing Zaki who was well positioned to bag the visitors’ winner from six yards out in the 90th minute.