Football: Positive start for Mark Hughes as Southampton reach FA Cup semis, while Wigan dream ends

Southampton manager Mark Hughes celebrating after Cedric Soares scores their second goal against Wigan in their FA Cup quarter-final at the DW Stadium on March 18, 2018.
Southampton manager Mark Hughes celebrating after Cedric Soares scores their second goal against Wigan in their FA Cup quarter-final at the DW Stadium on March 18, 2018.PHOTO: ACTION IMAGES VIA REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Southampton reached the FA Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 away victory over third-tier Wigan on Sunday, as Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg and Cedric Soares were on target in manager Mark Hughes' first match in charge.

The Welshman was appointed Southampton boss on Wednesday following the sacking of Argentinian Mauricio Pellegrino and his side, 18th in the Premier League, struggled in the opening 45 minutes against League One promotion chasers Wigan.

Wigan, who had beaten three Premier League teams in the Cup including Manchester City in the previous round, could not convert their chances, however, and Southampton came out strongly after the break.

The decisive goal came in the 62nd minute when Hojbjerg converted with a side-foot finish from a Dusan Tadic corner.

Southampton had a chance to wrap up the tie when they were given a penalty with 18 minutes remaining but Manolo Gabbiadini's spot kick, awarded after he had been brought down by Dan Burn, was brilliantly saved by Wigan goalkeeper Christian Walton.

Southampton's second goal came in injury time, when Soares ended a swift counter-attack, led by Nathan Redmond, with a calm finish into the far corner.

Southampton join Tottenham, Manchester United and the winner of Sunday's other tie between Leicester and Chelsea in the semi-finals.