Sunderland 2nds stumbled to defeat on the opening day of the season despite leading 2-1 at the break. Northumbria took a very early lead inside the opening two minutes, when an ambitious shot from thirty-five yards caught Luca Pompili Killich off-guard to make it 1-0 to the hosts.
The goal came from a foul in the centre of the pitch, with the free kick taken quickly and the Northumbria midfielder allowed time to shoot before his effort nestled in off the post.
Virtually straight from kick-off, Northumbria retrieved possession and carved out a golden opportunity to double their advantage in the opening exchanges. The ball was threaded through to the Northumbria number nine but Pompili Killich was quick off his line to prevent his side from falling further behind.
Proceedings continued at a fierce pace, as Sunderland won a penalty at the opposite end after just under ten minutes. Jack Murphy was on the verge of pulling the trigger from outside the six-yard box when the opposing defender caught him on the wrong side. Harry Woodward calmly stepped up to the spot and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to level the scoring at 1-1.
The home side won a free-kick in a promising position after twenty minutes, which smacked against the left-hand post to let Sunderland off the hook. Northumbria continued to terrorise the Sunderland defence when their number 14 weaved side to side before picking out his strike partner, who could not hit the target from inside the box.
With just less than forty minutes on the clock, Sunderland took the lead for the first time when an excellent delivery arrived from the left-wing. Sotiris Kyriakou was able to storm ahead of his marker and poke the ball past the ‘keeper to make it 2-1 to Sunderland just before the break.
Things almost got even better for Sunderland and Kyriakou moments later, when he tried to slide the ball into the net from a tight angle but was stopped by the post.
Kyriakou won a free kick just outside of the box at the start of the second half but the shot was fired directly at the Northumbria ‘keeper. The hosts began to pile on the pressure in the hope of getting back into the game, as some silky footwork from their number 22 created a great angle for him to curl his shot towards goal.
Pompili Killich was forced into a tremendous save to keep Sunderland ahead although they were still pegged back into their own half. After dominating possession for large portions of the second-half, Northumbria were eventually rewarded with an equaliser.
The number nine received a great ball down the wing and his cross into a dangerous area was bundled over the line from close range to make it 2-2. Soon after, the hosts scored the final goal of the game in what was both a fierce and enthralling encounter.
The Northumbria striker received the ball one-on-one and was calmly able to take the ball around Pompili Killich to convert into an empty net, 3-2. Sunderland created one more golden opportunity on the counter, when Kyriakou beat his man for pace but fired his strong attempt just over the crossbar.
The final whistle blew as Northumbria claimed all three points although Sunderland showed superb character throughout spells. The reverse fixture will most certainly be a game to look out for, as Sunderland seek revenge.