Rubin Kazan 1 Wigan 0

Wigan suffered the first defeat of their maiden European campaign as Oleg Kuzmin’s strike steered Rubin Kazan to a 1-0 victory in Russia.

What ultimately proved to be the decisive moment of the Europa League Group D match at the Central Stadium – which has the Kazan Kremlin as a dramatic backdrop – came in the 22nd minute when Kuzmin latched on to a lofted ball into the area and cracked it home.

The effort seemed to go right through 21-year-old goalkeeper Lee Nicholls, who was making his European debut in only his fifth senior Latics appearance. But given the ferocity of Kuzmin’s shot, the England youth international appeared to have little chance of keeping it out.

It was the only real incidence of potent attacking from either side in a subdued first half, but Wigan stepped things up after the break and came close to equalising.

Thomas Rogne sent a header against the bar and late on James McClean’s touch diverted the ball just the wrong side of the post.

The leveller would not come, though, as group leaders Rubin – who Wigan drew 1-1 with at the DW Stadium in their last European outing – claimed all three points.

The Russian outfit now have 10 points, while Wigan have five, with both teams having played four games.

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