Ron Vlaar reflected on his Wigan wonder-strike with mixed feelings, admitting: "It was my first good touch of the game!"
Despite earning a point with a stunning half-volley, the captain was critical of his own overall performance.
Nevertheless, Vlaar hailed his playing pals for their efforts in the entertaining 2-2 draw.
He admitted the final day clash at the DW Stadium could have gone either way.
"I think it was my first good touch of the game! It was not my game," said the Dutch defender.
"You really want to step up. You want to step up in the second half but I had a really bad header to Nathan, where they got a big chance.
"But I think my game was a lot better after the goal. It gave me some confidence and the boys were great.
"They really helped me and tried to pull me through and they did great.
"I think it was a very open game. It was probably my worst game of the season because I had a lot of bad touches.
"But I was lucky with a good touch for the goal to make it even. We could have won but they also had some chances so we could have lost."
Vlaar praised the quality of the first goal, which Darren Bent expertly tucked away after some good work by Gabby Agbonlahor.
"It was a great pass and great move by Gabby and Darren hit it very good off the inside of the post," he said.
"He was there and he scored so that is very good."
Vlaar was moved by the tributes to retiring club captain Stiliyan Petrov at the DW Stadium.
The 3,895 travelling fans donned Petrov masks to celebrate the career of the Bulgarian midfielder, who joined the coaching staff and substitutes in the dugout for the Latics game.
"I've said it so many times I've got so much respect for him because he gave so much energy to the group and to me," Vlaar added.
"He has retired now and it was very good to have him around to be on the bench and in the dressing room."
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