Wigan Athletic battled to a draw against Belgium's Zulte-Waregem in the first European tie in their history.

A brilliant Chris McCann block on the goal line late on saved the FA Cup winners in a match short on chances.

Wigan goalkeeper Scott Carson did superbly to deny Ibrahima Conte in the first half as Owen Coyle's side absorbed pressure.

Zulte's Habib Habibou went close after the break as the visitors earned a Europa League point.

Wigan's rise to Europe

  • Feb 1995 - Bought by Dave Whelan
  • May 1997 - Win the old Third Division
  • May 2003 - Win old Second Division
  • May 2005 - Promoted to the Premier League
  • May 2006 - Finished 10th in Premier League
  • May 2013 - Win FA Cup
  • May 2013 - Relegated from the Premier League
  • Sept 2013 - Make European debut

The match took place in front of a small crowd at the Jan Breydel Stadium in Bruges, with Zulte's own stadium not deemed fit for European football.

The Latics were the only side in the draw without any continental experience. Their opponents - who finished second to Anderlecht in Belgium last season - were eliminated from this year's Champions League at the qualifying stage.

Since qualifying for the competition with a dramatic FA Cup final win over Manchester City in May, Wigan have lost their Premier League status and former manager Roberto Martinez.

Chairman Dave Whelan has said promotion from the Championship was this season's priority, but ahead of the game Coyle said his side were determined to mark the historic occasion with a win.

Facing three games in six days, the Wigan boss made seven changes to the side that lost at Leicester on Saturday and fielded a starting line-up containing five players with previous European experience.

And in testing conditions on a wet night, the visitors almost made the perfect start, when James McArthur's volley from 20 yards grazed the outside of the post after three minutes.

Jordi Gomez shot wide from a similar position in the opening exchanges, while Wigan paid close attention to Zulte playmaker Thorgen Hazard, the younger brother of Chelsea's Eden.

Zulte-Waregem

Achieved their highest ever finish in the 2012/13 season - coming second in Belgium's top flight to Anderlecht, but their ground does not meet UEFA requirements, prompting Europa League matches to be played in Bruges.

Hazard's side, managed by Franck Dury, grew into the half and went close when James McClean headed against his own crossbar, before Carson made a telling contribution to deny Conte.

The former Liverpool goalkeeper's diving parry from a close-range strike kept the sides level at the break, but the 28-year-old almost turned villain in the second half when his missed punch led to striker Habibou heading wide.

Ryan Shotton - making his debut after a deadline day move from Stoke - went close with a clever flick, but Wigan's attacks were sparse in the second period as the Belgian side chased three points.

Habibou just failed to convert Jens Naessens drilled cross from inside the six-yard box and, even though Coyle introduced fresh legs, Zulte continued to test the Championship side's defensive credentials.

Defender Karel D'Haene, who scored for Zulte against Newcastle in 2007, was doggedly denied by McCann when the former Burnley man threw himself in front of his goal-bound effort.

Wigan threatened to forge openings on the break with the introduction of Marc-Antoine Fortune, but when Conte blazed a late chance over, a first European point in their 81-year history was secured.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Zulte-Waregem

  • 01 Bossut
  • 02 De Fauw
  • 17 Conte
  • 18 Duplus
  • 24 D'Haene
  • 28 Malanda
  • 08 Kums
  • 10 Hazard Booked
  • 16 Skulason Booked
  • 07 Habibou (Raphael Caceres - 72' )
  • 14 Naessens Booked

Substitutes

  • 22 Bruzzese
  • 05 Verboom
  • 13 N'Diaye
  • 23 Tarfi
  • 11 Idrissa Sylla
  • 19 Raphael Caceres
  • 27 Bongonda

Wigan

  • 01 Carson
  • 03 Crainey
  • 04 Shotton
  • 17 Boyce
  • 24 Perch
  • 07 McCann Booked
  • 11 McClean
  • 14 Gomez (Watson - 66' )
  • 15 McManaman (Fortune - 66' )
  • 16 McArthur
  • 19 Powell (Dicko - 83' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Nicholls
  • 43 Buxton
  • 08 Watson
  • 18 Espinoza
  • 23 Garcia
  • 29 Dicko
  • 32 Fortune
Ref: Borski
Att: 8,000

Match Stats

Shots

19 8

On target

8 2

Corners

9 5

Fouls

10 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:12 Full time

Full Time The final whistle is blown by the referee.

90:00 +2:02

Emmerson Boyce concedes a free kick for a foul on Bernard Malanda. Sammy Bossut takes the free kick.

90:00 +1:10

Free kick awarded for a foul by Davy De Fauw on James McClean. Ben Watson crosses the ball in from the free kick.

90:00 +0:31

Shot by Ibrahima Conte went wide right of the net.

89:52

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard from the left by-line. James Perch manages to make a clearance.

88:43

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard.

88:28

The ball is crossed by Ibrahima Conte. Scott Carson saves with their feet.

86:49

Shot by Karel D'Haene. Blocked by James Perch.

86:16

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard from the left by-line. Ryan Shotton makes a clearance.

85:47

Karel D'Haene takes a shot. Chris McCann gets a block in.

85:16

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard from the right by-line.

84:55

Raphael Caceres takes a shot. Blocked by Emmerson Boyce.

82:14

Free kick taken by Sammy Bossut.

82:14 Substitution

Substitution Nick Powell goes off and Nouha Dicko comes on.

82:14

Unfair challenge on Bernard Malanda by Marc-Antoine Fortune results in a free kick.

75:53

Shot by Davy De Fauw missed to the left of the net.

74:48

Marc-Antoine Fortune concedes a free kick for a foul on Karel D'Haene. Karel D'Haene takes the free kick.

73:34

Unfair challenge on Davy De Fauw by Ben Watson results in a free kick. Karel D'Haene restarts play with the free kick.

73:03

Shot by Raphael Caceres. Scott Carson safely holds on.

71:54 Substitution

Substitution Raphael Caceres is brought on as a substitute for Habib Habibou.

71:20

Olafur Ingi Skulason fouled by Chris McCann, the ref awards a free kick. Davy De Fauw takes the free kick.

69:14

Foul by Chris McCann on Olafur Ingi Skulason, free kick awarded. Davy De Fauw takes the free kick.

67:43

James Perch takes a shot. A parry by Sammy Bossut prevents the goal.

67:15

Corner from the right by-line taken by Ben Watson.

65:05 Substitution

Substitution Callum McManaman goes off and Marc-Antoine Fortune comes on.

65:05 Substitution

Substitution Jordi Gomez leaves the field to be replaced by Ben Watson.

64:29

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard. Header at goal by Frederic Duplus to the left of the net.

62:46

Shot by Davy De Fauw missed to the right of the target.

61:55

James McClean takes a weak shot and missed to the left of the target.

57:13 Booking

Booking

56:57

Emmerson Boyce fouled by Thorgan Hazard, the ref awards a free kick. The referee shows Thorgan Hazard a yellow card. Emmerson Boyce restarts play with the free kick.

53:57

Ibrahima Conte takes a shot and missed to the right of the goal.

52:06

Corner taken by Nick Powell. Header at goal by Ryan Shotton goes over the frame of the goal.

51:10

Short corner worked by Nick Powell.

50:55

Jens Naessens is caught offside. Scott Carson restarts play with the free kick.

49:24

A cross is delivered by Davy De Fauw. Header at goal by Habib Habibou misses to the right.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time The half-time whistle blows.

45:00 +0:08

The referee blows for offside against Ibrahima Conte. Free kick taken by Scott Carson.

44:29

Ibrahima Conte takes a shot. Scott Carson parries the effort to safety.

44:13

Thorgan Hazard takes a shot.

42:39

Ibrahima Conte takes a weak shot and cleared the crossbar.

40:53 Booking

Booking

40:44

Jens Naessens gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Shotton. The referee cautions Jens Naessens for unsporting behaviour. Scott Carson restarts play with the free kick.

40:32

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard.

38:28

Sven Kums takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by Emmerson Boyce.

37:49

Unfair challenge on Olafur Ingi Skulason by Stephen Crainey results in a free kick. Thorgan Hazard restarts play with the free kick.

36:37

Olafur Ingi Skulason gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Stephen Crainey. Stephen Crainey takes the free kick.

35:16

The ball is swung over by Thorgan Hazard. James McClean manages to make a clearance.

35:13

Thorgan Hazard takes a short corner.

34:50

Thorgan Hazard takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Blocked by James McArthur.

32:45

Habib Habibou challenges Ryan Shotton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Scott Carson restarts play with the free kick.

31:50

The assistant referee flags for offside against Chris McCann. Karel D'Haene restarts play with the free kick.

30:15

Thorgan Hazard takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Emmerson Boyce gets a block in.

28:46

Corner taken by Nick Powell from the right by-line. Chris McCann takes a shot.

28:28

Chris McCann has an effort at goal. Blocked by Olafur Ingi Skulason.

25:59

Foul by Sven Kums on Jordi Gomez, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Scott Carson.

24:38

Corner from the right by-line taken by Thorgan Hazard. Jordi Gomez manages to make a clearance.

24:06

Habib Habibou takes a weak shot. Blocked by Stephen Crainey.

20:41

Unfair challenge on Davy De Fauw by James McClean results in a free kick. Karel D'Haene restarts play with the free kick.

18:15

Shot by Nick Powell went wide of the right-hand post.

16:36 Booking

Booking

16:31

Foul by Olafur Ingi Skulason on James McClean, free kick awarded. Olafur Ingi Skulason receives a caution. Free kick crossed by Stephen Crainey restarts the game.

15:14 Booking

Booking

15:06

Chris McCann gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Habib Habibou. Chris McCann is shown a yellow card. Karel D'Haene takes the free kick.

14:17

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Thorgan Hazard. Free kick taken by Scott Carson.

11:02

Corner taken by Thorgan Hazard. Header by Bernard Malanda goes over the bar.

9:54

James McArthur fouled by Habib Habibou, the ref awards a free kick. James McArthur restarts play with the free kick.

8:56

Jordi Gomez has an effort at goal and missed to the right of the target.

7:06

Ibrahima Conte takes a shot. Scott Carson safely holds on.

5:23

Unfair challenge on Callum McManaman by Sven Kums results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Callum McManaman.

2:47

James McArthur takes a shot and hits the post.

2:11

Corner taken by Nick Powell from the right by-line.

1:24

James McClean challenges Thorgan Hazard unfairly and gives away a free kick. Thorgan Hazard restarts play with the free kick.

0:00

The referee gets the game started.

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