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Four terrible minutes sink Howard-less Everton in FA Cup

Mar 9, 2013, 9:54 AM EDT

FBL-ENG-FACUP-EVERTON-WIGAN Getty Images

There wasn’t much Jan Mucha could do about the four crucial first half minutes that knocked Everton out of the FA Cup.

The Toffees’ No. 2, in for the injured Tim Howard, was left hung out to dry from minutes 30 to 33 on Saturday, a span in which visiting Wigan scored three times. With goals by Maynor Figueroa, Connor McNamara and Jordi Gomez, the Latics were up 3-0, a score that held through the final whistle, giving the Latics a place in the FA Cup semifinals.

It was a huge win for Wigan, and not only because of their decisive result at one of the Premier League’s stronger sides. The win punches their ticket to Wembley, an unexpected honor for a team in the midst of their annual relegation battle.

Wigan looked anything but embattled on Saturday, though Everton’s defending may have been the bigger culprit. Figueroa was relatively uncontested while converting the 30th minute corner, and a terrible back pass from Phil Neville created Connor McNamara’s 31st minute scores. Wigan deserves full credit for Gomez’s 33rd minute tally — a left-footed finish from near the arc that went just inside Mucha’s right post — but by then the winning goal had already been tallied.

Here are the goals, courtesy of FOX Soccer:

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