Everton manager David Moyes singled out left-back Leighton Baines for special praise after his nerveless 88th-minute penalty handed the Toffees a share of the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at Wigan.
Moyes' men had been frustrated in their bid to force their way back into the match after first-half goals from Arouna Kone and Franco Di Santo sandwiched a Nikica Jelavic effort to give the Latics the lead at the break.
But Baines slammed the late spot-kick high past Ali Al Habsi, following Maynor Figueroa's foul on Kevin Mirallas, to give the visitors a point that boss Moyes insisted was the least they deserved for their efforts.
Moyes said: "Leighton's penalty was fantastic and his performance was up there as good as anything.
"We needed it and he drove us on, and we showed great character because we weren't getting a lot of decisions going for us."
Moyes was particularly critical of Kone's early opener, which he claimed was offside, and said Jelavic should also have had a late penalty when he scuffed his shot under a stretching challenge from Figueroa.
Moyes said: "Their first goal was definitely half a yard offside and the linesman was nowhere in line with the ball.
"And Jelavic is definitely a penalty so I think we've had a really rough day and what we got today we earned.
"We thoroughly deserved the point, no doubt about that. We played really well in the second half and kept having a go at them, and Kevin Mirallas had a great chance.
"They did what I asked in the second half to make sure we got something out of the game."
Wigan boss Roberto Martinez admitted the manner of Everton's late leveller was "hard to take", but said he had no complaints with either the penalty decision or the earlier booking of Marouane Fellaini for an apparent elbow on Figueroa.
Martinez said: "These calls are difficult for referees and from where I was it looked like he came across with his arm.
"If the referee was not certain then I think a yellow card was the right call because you can't gamble on a red card."
Martinez paid tribute to both sides for an absorbing encounter, but admitted defensive sloppiness had cost his side the victory as Everton continued to push forward in search of a second-half equaliser.
Martinez added: "We started better in the first half and Everton came back and had a strong second half as you would expect.
"They played with real tempo and intensity and they are a group of players with very good momentum.
"But we're the home side and I'd say we should have defended better to get the three points.
"My only disappointment is that the first goal is too soft. We need to learn to defend better in terms of concentration and intensity. But I'm pleased with the performance.
"The link-up play between the front three was a joy to watch and we scored two goals with great pieces of football. But we needed that two-goal cushion - and we needed to do other things better to take the points."