BEN WATSON’S love affair with the FA Cup continued as the Wigan midfielder fired the holders into the quarterfinals with a surprise 2-1 win at Cardiff.
Watson had scored the last-gasp goal which gave underdogs Wigan a stunning 1-0 victory over Manchester City in last season’s FA Cup final.
Since then Wigan have been relegated to the second tier and two managers have taken charge of the Latics following the departure to Everton of Roberto Martinez, who masterminded the City shocker.
Uwe Rosler is the current Wigan boss and his side are now just one win away from returning to Wembley for a semifinal tie thanks to their fifth-round triumph over Premier League opposition in south Wales.
Chris McCann gave Wigan the lead and, after Fraizer Campbell equalised, Watson lashed in the winner for his third goal in his last four FA Cup appearances.
Wigan were quickly into their stride and fullback James Perch advanced with intent before sending a shot skimming just wide.
Rosler’s Championship team took the lead in the 18th minute when Jordi Gomez fired a low cross towards McCann, who kept his balance to steer his shot into the corner with a side-foot volley.
Cardiff struggled to find any rhythm in the early stages, but they still managed to draw level with their first real attempt at goal in the 27th minute.
On-loan Manchester United winger Wilfried Zaha got into the penalty area and, when Wigan were unable to clear his shot, it broke for Campbell, who drove a powerful left-foot shot into the bottom corner.
Wigan refused to let that setback knock them out of their stride and the visitors regained the lead five minutes before halftime.
Watson set his sights on goal from long-range after receiving a Marc-Antoine Fortune pass and the former Crystal Palace star’s thunderous strike flashed by Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall.