Mohamed Diame and Sunderland substitute Benjani tussle for possession
By Oliver Brett
Mohamed Diame's first goal for Wigan, a brilliant individual effort, was cancelled out by a fine header from Kenwyne Jones in an entertaining scrap.
Diame intercepted a loose ball and skipped through the Sunderland defence before unleashing a wonderful drive.
But Jones, who had hit an upright in the first half, latched on to Jordan Henderson's cross to equalise.
Sunderland had earlier been unlucky to see a Darren Bent goal ruled out for offside during an impressive period.
Having looked off the pace until the early part of the second half, allowing Roberto Martinez's men to dominate, the Black Cats finally found their rhythm to give Wigan goalkeeper Chris Kirkland and his defenders plenty of problems late on.
But they had to be content with the point, despite the constant threat of Bent, Jones and eventually substitute Boudewijn Zenden. Nonetheless Sunderland boss Steve Bruce will be concerned to see his team's winless run in the league stretch to 11 games.
Wigan have been little better of late, and the draw did not really drag either team away from the relegation picture.
It was a lively match throughout at the Stadium of Light, and the first chance fell to the hosts.
A neat pass from new loan signing Alan Hutton found Sunderland's top scorer Bent - but he could only fire his shot straight at Kirkland. The Latics goalkeeper, returning from a collarbone injury, would have been grateful to make a simple save.
Bruce seeks cure for Sunderland nerves
Wigan's Paul Scharner had an even better chance to break the deadlock but completely mistimed his shot after being set up by James McCarthy.
With Charles N'Zogbia and Maynor Figueroa making some excellent runs, Wigan gradually began to make a real nuisance of themselves - and a goal for the visitors soon followed.
Sunderland midfielder Lorik Cana lost possession in midfield, and Diame picked up the loose ball, before rampaging through the Black Cats defence. The Frenchman glided past the challenge of Matthew Kilgallon and unleashed a rising drive from the right-hand corner of the penalty area that Craig Gordon was unable to save.
Jones then tried to match that brilliant solo effort when embarking on a fine run of his own in which he effortlessly avoided the attentions of both Hendry Thomas and Titus Bramble.
But when a final challenge came in from Figueroa, Jones' shot was deflected by the Wigan player's leg, before flicking the outside of the post en route for a corner.
Martinez disappointed not to seal win
Both goalkeepers were called upon to make saves late on in the first half, and the early exchanges of the second period were just as entertaining.
Many of the home fans were roaring their approval when they saw Bent spring Wigan's off-side trap, round Kirkland and put the ball into the net - but they had failed to spot the assistant's flag, though replays suggested the official might have got the decision wrong.
At the other end, McCarthy was presented with a wonderful chance to put Wigan 2-0 up following an assist from Emmerson Boyce, but Gordon saved well with his legs. The Sunderland keeper could safely watch on as N'Zogbia was unable to cap a fine display with a goal of his own, slicing a shot wastefully wide following good work from Hugo Rodallega.
By then, Henderson had already sent over one fine cross which Michael Turner was unable to convert, but when he delivered another pinpoint ball into the area, Jones - with Benjani warming up on the bench and ready to replace him - buried the chance.
Seven minutes of injury time were signalled after the long break for the injured Henderson to receive attention, and the best chance in the final exchanges fell to Bent, whose shot was kept out by the prone figure of his fellow striker Jones inside the six-yard box.
Henderson could be out for months with ankle ligament damage - and faces scans over the next 24 hours to establish the extent of his problems.
Sunderland boss Steve Bruce: "I am not enjoying it. I'm not unduly worried, but I am not enjoying it, that's for sure.
"The one thing I am not going to do is give up on it - I have never given up on anything in my life, so I am not going to start now.
"We have got to make sure we are ready for the challenge ahead. We won't give up on it, that's for sure and we will turn it around."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez: "The hardest thing coming away from home is scoring that first goal and once we did that, we coped really well in the first half with Sunderland's threat.
"But the disappointment is that we needed to score that second goal. If you score that second goal, the whole games changes and everything is a little bit easier for you.
"We are getting punished for very, very little and it seems we need a lot to take our chances."
90:00+7:11 The final whistle goes and the game is over.
90:00+6:47 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Blocked by Matthew Kilgallon.
90:00+5:45 Benjani Mwaruwari concedes a free kick for a foul on Gary Caldwell. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+5:21 Booking Lorik Cana goes into the referee's book for unsporting behaviour.
90:00+3:15 Benjani Mwaruwari is ruled offside. Titus Bramble takes the free kick.
90:00+2:29 Handball decision goes against Lee Cattermole. Free kick crossed left-footed by Charles N'Zogbia, George McCartney manages
to make a clearance.
90:00+1:41 Foul by Benjani Mwaruwari on Gary Caldwell, free kick awarded. Chris Kirkland restarts play with the free kick.
90:00+1:05 Effort from outside the area by Mohamed Diame goes wide right of the goal.
90:00+0:40 Darren Bent takes a shot. Kenwyne Jones gets a block in.
90:00+0:09 Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Maynor Figueroa.
89:39 Kenwyne Jones fouled by Mohamed Diame, the ref awards a free kick. Lorik Cana takes the direct free kick.
89:16 Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.
89:16 Booking The referee shows Gary Caldwell a yellow card for time wasting.
88:45 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Emmerson Boyce by Boudewijn Zenden.
87:29 Unfair challenge on George McCartney by Charles N'Zogbia results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Boudewijn Zenden, Chris
Kirkland makes a save.
87:03 Free kick awarded for a foul by Marcelo Moreno on Lorik Cana. Craig Gordon restarts play with the free kick.
86:15 Chris Kirkland takes the free kick.
86:15 Substitution Benjani Mwaruwari replaces Andy Reid.
86:15 Boudewijn Zenden concedes a free kick for a foul on Maynor Figueroa.
84:29 Free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
84:29 Booking Booking for Kenwyne Jones for unsporting behaviour.
84:25 Unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia by Kenwyne Jones results in a free kick.
82:52 Substitution Hugo Rodallega goes off and Victor Moses comes on.
Correction - 82:26 Lorik Cana fouled by Hendry Thomas, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Lorik Cana.
82:26 Lorik Cana concedes a free kick for a foul on Titus Bramble. Direct free kick taken by Titus Bramble.
81:52 The ball is crossed by Alan Hutton, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
79:20 Free kick crossed left-footed by Andy Reid.
79:20 Booking James McCarthy receives a caution.
79:10 Foul by James McCarthy on George McCartney, free kick awarded.
77:48 Free kick taken by Alan Hutton.
77:48 Booking Hugo Rodallega goes into the referee's book.
77:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Hugo Rodallega on Michael Turner.
76:46 A cross is delivered by Marcelo Moreno, clearance made by Matthew Kilgallon.
75:15 Gary Caldwell takes the direct free kick.
75:15 Booking Caution for Lee Cattermole.
75:00 Lee Cattermole challenges James McCarthy unfairly and gives away a free kick.
73:40 Substitution (Wigan) makes a substitution, with Marcelo Moreno coming on for Paul Scharner.
72:24 Boudewijn Zenden takes a shot. Maynor Figueroa gets a block in.
71:35 Maynor Figueroa concedes a free kick for a foul on Kenwyne Jones. Andy Reid takes the direct free kick.
68:47 Substitution Boudewijn Zenden joins the action as a substitute, replacing Jordan Henderson.
66:13 A cross is delivered by Andy Reid, Titus Bramble manages to make a clearance.
64:54 Effort on goal by Darren Bent from deep inside the penalty area misses to the right of the goal.
63:41 The assist for the goal came from Jordan Henderson.
63:41 GOAL - Kenwyne Jones:Sunderland 1 - 1 Wigan Kenwyne Jones grabs a headed goal from close range. Sunderland 1-1 Wigan.
61:36 Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charles N'Zogbia, Close range headed effort by Gary Caldwell goes wide of
the left-hand post.
Correction - 60:51 Effort from inside the area by Charles N'Zogbia misses to the left of the goal.
60:51 Hugo Rodallega produces a right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.
59:33 The ball is crossed by Jordan Henderson, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Michael Turner misses to the left
of the goal.
59:26 George McCartney sends in a cross, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
59:07 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Darren Bent by Emmerson Boyce. Andy Reid takes the direct free kick.
58:32 Booking Charles N'Zogbia receives a caution for dissent.
57:26 James McCarthy decides to take the corner short.
57:08 James McCarthy takes a shot. Craig Gordon gets a block in.
54:03 The assistant referee flags for offside against Darren Bent. Chris Kirkland takes the indirect free kick.
51:32 Kenwyne Jones is ruled offside. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Kirkland.
51:14 A cross is delivered by Andy Reid, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
47:49 Unfair challenge on George McCartney by Hendry Thomas results in a free kick. Matthew Kilgallon restarts play with the free
46:34 The ball is crossed by Andy Reid, Unfair challenge on Chris Kirkland by Darren Bent results in a free kick. Chris Kirkland
restarts play with the free kick.
45:24 The ball is sent over by Paul Scharner.
45:01 The referee gets the second half started.
45:00+2:03 The players leave the pitch at half time.
45:00+1:25 Hendry Thomas gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Andy Reid. Free kick crossed by Andy Reid.
43:44 Maynor Figueroa fires a strike on goal direct from the free kick.
43:44 Booking George McCartney receives a yellow card.
43:33 George McCartney gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Charles N'Zogbia.
42:25 Free kick taken by Jordan Henderson.
42:25 Booking The referee shows Maynor Figueroa a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
42:14 Unfair challenge on Alan Hutton by Maynor Figueroa results in a free kick.
41:45 Shot from just outside the penalty box by Alan Hutton misses to the left of the target.
Correction - 41:45 Shot from just outside the penalty area by Hendry Thomas misses to the left of the target.
Correction - 41:24 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Craig Gordon makes a save.
41:24 Andy Reid takes a shot. Save made by Craig Gordon.
41:10 Corner taken by Charles N'Zogbia, George McCartney manages to make a clearance.
39:36 Andy Reid takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance made by James McCarthy.
39:16 Lee Cattermole takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
38:40 The ball is crossed by Andy Reid, Chris Kirkland makes a save.
37:27 Foul by Lorik Cana on Charles N'Zogbia, free kick awarded. Gary Caldwell restarts play with the free kick.
36:46 The ball is sent over by George McCartney, clearance made by Titus Bramble.
35:36 Maynor Figueroa takes a long range shot clearing the bar.
34:42 Mohamed Diame is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Craig Gordon.
33:33 Shot from just outside the box by Paul Scharner goes over the bar.
Correction - 32:33 Paul Scharner produces a left-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.
30:33 Lee Cattermole takes a shot. Emmerson Boyce gets a block in.
30:21 Outswinging corner taken by Jordan Henderson, clearance by Maynor Figueroa.
29:57 Kenwyne Jones takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Caldwell.
27:02 The referee blows for offside against Hugo Rodallega. Craig Gordon takes the indirect free kick.
25:15 Shot from long range by Jordan Henderson goes wide of the left-hand upright.
24:23 Hugo Rodallega takes a shot. Michael Turner gets a block in.
22:38 Handball by Hendry Thomas. Craig Gordon restarts play with the free kick.
20:14 Jordan Henderson fouled by Maynor Figueroa, the ref awards a free kick. Andy Reid restarts play with the free kick, The ball
is swung over by Hugo Rodallega, Alan Hutton manages to make a clearance.
19:09 GOAL - Mohamed Diame:Sunderland 0 - 1 Wigan Goal scored by Mohamed Diame from just inside the penalty area to the top right corner of the goal. Sunderland 0-1 Wigan.
17:41 Free kick awarded for a foul by Lorik Cana on Paul Scharner. Hendry Thomas restarts play with the free kick.
16:57 Effort on goal by Maynor Figueroa from long range goes harmlessly over the target.
16:43 Charles N'Zogbia takes a shot. Blocked by Mohamed Diame.
14:12 Paul Scharner fouled by Lee Cattermole, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Gary Caldwell.
11:39 Effort from the edge of the box by Paul Scharner goes wide of the right-hand upright.
10:22 Foul by Jordan Henderson on Maynor Figueroa, free kick awarded. Maynor Figueroa takes the free kick.
9:28 The ball is swung over by Andy Reid, Titus Bramble manages to make a clearance.
8:25 Hugo Rodallega is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Craig Gordon.
7:45 Darren Bent takes a shot. Save by Chris Kirkland.
7:17 Centre by Alan Hutton, Titus Bramble makes a clearance.
6:24 Paul Scharner delivers the ball, Jordan Henderson manages to make a clearance.
2:08 Hendry Thomas challenges Andy Reid unfairly and gives away a free kick. Andy Reid delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed
from left wing, clearance by Mohamed Diame.
0:10 Free kick awarded for a foul by James McCarthy on Alan Hutton. Free kick taken by Alan Hutton.
0:00 The referee gets the match started.
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