Football

Sorensen rescues a point for Stoke: Match Review

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Stoke came from behind twice to earn a 2-2 draw at home to Wigan but had goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen to thank for saving an 89th-minute Hugo Rodallega penalty.

Emmerson Boyce's early header was cancelled out by Tuncay Sanli's first goal for the Potters before the interval.

Maynor Figueroa scored one of the goals of the season with a 72nd-minute free-kick from inside his own half but Ryan Shawcross equalised with a header and then Sorensen saved from the spot

Stoke striker James Beattie, alleged to have had a dressing room bust-up with manager Tony Pulis after last weekend's defeat at Arsenal, was given seven minutes at the end but he could not grab any more headlines.

Set-pieces played a significant part in the first half but most were disappointing with Tuncay and Wigan's Jordi Gomez both drilling efforts into the wall.

Dean Whitehead, on the edge of the penalty area, poked Rory Delap's pass wide of Chris Kirkland's left post before a free-kick brought a confusing opening goal in the 15th minute.

Rodallega's header from Jason Koumas's cross was superbly saved by Sorensen but he could only parry the ball into the air and Boyce dived in to nod home.

The defender received a boot in the head from Salif Diao and then collided with the goalkeeper which resulted in referee Mike Dean frantically waving on the physios.

No-one in the ground was entirely sure whether the goal had been allowed but after Boyce had received treatment Dean pointed to the centre spot.

Boyce, for whom the goal was his third of the season, returned to the action with his head swathed in blue bandage.

Stoke were spurred into action and Ricardo Fuller headed wide Delap's throw before the Jamaican and strike partner Tuncay combined to flatten Kirkland as they chased Shawcross' high punt.

Abdoulaye Faye's persistent fouling finally caught up with him when he was booked in the 33rd minute for a challenge on Gomez.

Wigan won a corner from the free-kick and when Figueroa's cross reached the far post Paul Scharner was convinced he should have had a penalty after being held back by Shawcross.

Stoke's equaliser came in the 37th minute when Shawcross flicked Sorensen's kick on to Tuncay on the left of the penalty area and he slotted past Kirkland from a narrow angle.

Boyce did not make the start of the second half and was replaced by on-loan Chelsea winger Scott Sinclair, with Scharner dropping into the back four.

However, the Austrian was given licence to go forward at set-pieces and he flashed a header from Koumas' corner across the goal and just wide of the far post.

Stoke should have taken the lead in the 59th minute when Fuller nipped in front of Titus Bramble to roll a shot past Kirkland but Tuncay, who was dangerously close to being offside, stretched at the far post but could not divert the ball in.

In the space of 90 seconds Stoke twice almost took the lead, first when substitute Glenn Whelan broke from midfield but could only sidefoot wide Matt Etherington's perfect ball from the left and then Tuncay's volley was deflected over by Scharner.

But it was Wigan who scored next with a brilliant piece of quick thinking from Figueroa in the 72nd minute.

Robert Huth fouled Sinclair two yards inside the Latics' half but with no Stoke player standing over the ball the Honduran left-back launched the free-kick goalwards and it sailed over Sorensen and into the top corner.

Figueroa's only other goal for Wigan came from a close-range header last January but his second was well over 50 yards.

However, the lead lasted just two minutes as Shawcross outjumped the Honduran to head in Etherington's corner with Kirkland caught in no-man's land.

With seven minutes remaining Beattie was sent on for Fuller to a rapturous reception from the home crowd.

In the 89th minute Huth brought down Gomez, who was offside, but Rodallega fired his spot-kick straight at Sorensen, who has now conceded just one of the last six penalties he has faced in the Premier League.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Emmerson Boyce
Stoke City
Football
Ryan Shawcross
Hugo Rodallega
Tuncay Sanli
Premier League
Maynor Figueroa
Wigan Athletic
Thomas Sorensen
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