'Special' strike deserved win, says Martinez

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Wigan manager Roberto Martinez praised the "arrogance" of Maynor Figueroa after the defender scored one of the goals of the season from inside his own half in the 2-2 draw at Stoke.

Martinez described the Honduras left-back's strike - from about 60 yards - as ``a special moment'' but was disappointed it did not cap a winning performance at the Britannia Stadium. Centre-back Emmerson Boyce had put the visitors ahead with a close-range 15th-minute header but Tuncay Sanli's first goal since his #5million summer move from Middlesbrough levelled things up before the break. Figueroa's quick thinking caught out Thomas Sorensen in the 72nd minute but Ryan Shawcross' header two minutes later produced the equaliser.

"I think the technicality of it doesn't surprise me at all because I know how Maynor strikes the ball every day in training," said Martinez.

"But the football arrogance to make that decision from a free-kick to score is special.

"From open play you are allowed to be that brave but from a free-kick you have to be a little bit arrogant because you look a fool in front of live television if you don't hit the target.

"I think it was a special moment, one of those moments when it is well worth being involved in football.

"I'm sure we will see that goal time after time and for a goalkeeper the standard of Sorensen to be beaten from that distance it has to be something special. It is just a shame that goal was not part of a winning scoreline."

Stoke boss Tony Pulis had both praise and criticism for goalkeeper Sorensen, who made a great save from Rodallega's header but could only palm the ball in the air to allow Boyce to score.

The Denmark goalkeeper redeemed himself in his manager's eyes, however, with his third successive penalty save.

"Thomas will get all the plaudits for saving the penalty again but, being as good as he is, should have pushed that first one over the bar and not pushed it out," said Pulis.

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Maynor Figueroa
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