Sunderland edge Birmingham City to claim victory and continue Championship play-off push

Full Times: Sunderland 2-1 Birmingham City (Credit: Adam Tones)

Sunderland came from behind with 10 men to claim a 2-1 victory over Birmingham City in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Blues opened the scoring through George Hall before Trai Hume equalised deep into first-half stoppage time. Amad’s sensational second-half strike sealed victory minutes before Dennis Cirkin was sent off.  

Tony Mowbray freshened up his starting line-up by bringing Patrick Roberts and Edouard Michut in from the start following Easter Monday’s victory over Cardiff City. 

Sunderland started the game on the front foot, Lynden Gooch and Amad playing a neat one-two down the right-hand side picking out Alex Pritchard, but the midfielder fired inches wide from six yards out. 

Anthony Patterson was called into action on 18 minutes getting a strong hand to deny Tahith Chong at his near post to keep the scores level. 

The visitors took the lead on 28 minutes with a well-worked goal, Juninho Bacuna drifted past a couple of Sunderland players finding Chong who squared for an unmarked Hall to tap in from close range.

The Black Cats got back on level terms on the stroke of half time, Pritchard’s corner from the left was headed back across goal by Roberts finding Hume to nod home his first goal for the club.  

Patterson was forced into making an early save within a minute of the restart, stopping Jobe Bellingham’s strike from 12 yards out.

Roberts was provided with a golden one-on-one opportunity to put Sunderland ahead midway through the second half but somehow managed to lift his attempt over Ruddy’s crossbar. 

Clarke thought he had found the breakthrough goal after losing his marker to get on the end of Pritchard’s cross but Ruddy was well-positioned to save his header.  

Sunderland deservedly took the lead inside the final 15 minutes, Clarke’s superb cross-field pass found Amad who took a touch, opened up his body and empathically drilled his shot into Ruddy’s bottom left-hand corner. 

The hosts had to play the final 12 minutes with 10 men after Cirkin received his second yellow card of the match for a late off-the-ball challenge. 

Tony Mowbray’s team defended in their numbers to clear everything the Blues threw at them in the final few minutes sealing a vital three points and continuing their play-off push. 

Sunderland XI: Patterson, Gooch (O’Nien 62’), Batth ©, Hume, Cirkin, Neil, Michut (Gelhardt 63’), Roberts (Anderson 80’), Pritchard, Clarke, Amad (Ekwah 90+2’)

Subs not used: Bass, Ba, Lihadji. 

Birmingham City XI: Ruddy ©, Colin, Trusty, Roberts, Long, Bacuna, Bielik (James 77’), Hall (Bellingham 40’), Chong, Jutkiwwicz (Hogan 72’), Khadra (Mejbri 72’)

Subs not used: Etheridge, Chang, Dean.