Sunderland were held to a 1-1 draw by Huddersfield Town in their penultimate Sky Bet Championship home match of the season.
Joe Gelhardt’s superbly drilled effort from 20 yards put Sunderland ahead at the break but Josh Koroma’s well-hit strike from range levelled the scores on the hour mark and claimed a well-earned point for the visitors.
The Black Cats made two changes with Luke O’Nien and Gelhardt returning to the starting line-up in replace of Edouard Michut and the suspended Dennis Cirkin.
The visitors looked lively in the opening 20 minutes and came close to catching Anthony Patterson out at his near post when Brahima Diarra’s strike deflects wide for a corner which was cleared.
Sunderland quickly broke up the other end and almost took the lead, Jack Clarke’s attempt looked to be heading past Tomas Vaclik until a last-gasp block denied the hosts what looked like a certain goal
Lynden Gooch tested Vaclik moments later, this time cutting in from the left-hand side before forcing the goalkeeper in a smart low save.
The Black Cats deservedly broke the deadlock on 36 minutes when Amad picked out an advancing Gelhardt midway inside the visitor’s half, the striker drove forward before picking his spot and powerfully finding Vaclik’s bottom right-hand corner from 20 yards.
Tony Mowbray’s side should have doubled their lead moments later, Amad this time firing over from close range after being played through on goal by Alex Pritchard inside the Terriers’ box.
Gelhardt and Clarke combined in the closing stages of the first half, but the latter curled his effort inches wide of Vaclik’s far post.
Huddersfield almost caught the home team napping within five minutes of the restart, Headley drilling his effort wide of Patterson’s far post.
The Terriers equalised on 59 minutes thanks to Koroma’s speculative effort from range after navigating space and finding Patterson’s top right-hand corner.
Amad nearly provided the perfect response from the edge of the box a few minutes later, but his attempt was pushed wide by Vaclik for a corner which was hoofed clear of danger.
In an end-to-end match, both teams failed to find the cutting edge inside the final third settling for what could turn out to be a vital point at both ends of the table.
The draw moves Sunderland to within a point of sixth spot as the push for a place in the Play-offs continues at West Bromwich Albion on Sunday.
Sunderland XI: Patterson, Gooch, Batth © (Anderson 90’), O’Nien, Hume, Neil, Pritchard, Roberts (Watson 88’), Amad, Clarke, Gelhardt (Lihadji 73’)
Subs not used: Bass, Ekwah, Ba, Taylor.
Huddersfield Town XI: Vaclik, Pearson, Koroma, Ruffels, Kasuma, Rudoni, Ward, Lees ©, Diarra, Helik, Headley.
Subs not used: Bulokapic, Rhodes, Hungbo, Edmonds-Green, Jackson, Lowton, Waghorn.