The teenager fired home just before half-time to cancel out Aleksandr Prudinikov's opener in a 1-1 draw at home to Rubin Kazan.
That goal kept Latics in second place in Group D, two points behind last season's quarter-finalists but more importantly two ahead of Maribor, who registered their first win against Belgium's Zulte-Waregem.
Powell is on a season-long loan from Manchester United and watching Red Devils first-team coach Phil Neville will have taken plenty of useful information back to Old Trafford with him.
The 19-year-old, who has made just six appearances for United since his £4million move from Crewe in June 2012, scored his third goal of the competition in a display full of positivity.
He offered plenty to Wigan in terms of his movement and threat in the final third playing in an advanced role just behind striker Grant Holt, making his European debut.
It was the first time the pair had played together so there could be some excuse for the lack of a proper understanding - but Powell appears the sort of footballer who learns quickly.
He certainly grasped the responsibility after Wigan had fallen behind to Rubin's first real chance after a misjudgement from centre-back Leon Barnett allowed Prudinikov to run through to give his side a 15th-minute lead.
The Russian club held that advantage for 25 minutes until Powell fired a low shot just inside goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov's right-hand post after some crisp build-up play.