Latics undone by stunning strike but put in good show against Scottish Premiership side.WIGAN ATHLETIC 0
DUNDEE UNITED 1
A 90 minutes to be encouraged by from Owen Coyle's men as they put in a solid performance in the final pre-season friendly of the summer despite being beaten 1-0 at the DW Stadium after the visitors' new signing Nadir Ciftci's rocket flew into the top corner just inside the second half.
Coyle's side looked strong from the outset and after just 13 minutes Grant Holt almost got his first goal on home soil.
He was warmly received by the supporters and almost became an instant hit when his strong leap and resulting header crashed off the cross bar from a corner.
Debutant Thomas Rogne followed in with another header but on the stretch as the ball rippled the roof of the net.
The big Norwegian had another chance soon after when he forced Dundee United goalkeeper Radoslav Cierzniak into an excellent save, tipping a header over the bar.
Unfortunately for Rogne his game only lasted 26 minutes after an aerially collision in the middle of the pitch resulted in what looked like a lower back injury, he was stretchered off and replaced by Chris McCann.
The visitors managed to muster their best chance late in the first half after long periods of Latics' possession, with loanee David Goodwillie tested Scott Carson low to his right hand post.
Latics made just one change at half time with Jean Beausejour replacing Callum McManaman but he barely had time to settle in when Ciftci opened the scoring after seven second half minutes.
It was a goal of simple making but with a stunning outcome as Ciftci picked the ball up in space 25 yards or so out and rifled it into Carson top right hand corner.
The buoyant brigade of United fans were in their element following the goal but Latics still had work to do and carved out chances but couldn't find an equaliser.
First James McCarthy's slide at the back post from Holt's flick on rippled the side netting and then Holt himself should have levelled when Stephen Crainey's excellent cross found him in the area but his header went agonisingly wide.
There were plenty of changes for both sides as the game wore on and it was one of Latics final substitutions that came closest to equalising as Jordi Gomez's piledriver was tipped over the bar by Cierznak.
Latics end pre-season with five wins from six and have set themselves up well for August 3 against Barnsley.
Latics: Carson, Crainey, McCarthy, Rogne (McCann 26), Watson, Holt (Dicko 69), Maloney (Gomez 69), McManaman (Beausejour 45), McArthur, Boyce (Buxton 76), Perch.
Unused subs: Nicholls, Mustoe, Redmond, Bingham.
Dundee United: Cierniak, Watson, Dillon (Trotman 71), Butcher (Souttar 71), Robertson, Paton (Gardyne 80), Armstrong (Gunning 80), Dow (Graham 71), Gauld (Erskine 62), Ciftci (Mackay Steven 62), Goodwillie (Rankine 71).
Dundee United unused Subs: McCallum, Oyenuga