Benji Kimpioka of Sunderland and Richard Dionkou of Manchester City in action during the Checkatrade Trophy Quarter Final match between Sunderland and Manchester City Under 23s at the Stadium Of Light in Sunderland, UK on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. (Photo by Mark Fletcher/NurPhoto/Sipa USA)

Benji Kimpioka’s first half strike was only enough to earn Sunderland a point at the Stadium of Light due to a late Largie Ramazani equaliser.

Kimpioka opened the scoring fairly late into the first period despite little other action but was cancelled out by Ramazani’s close range finish late in the day ensuring both sides left with a point each.

The Black Cats were looking to avoid a third straight defeat against a United side who lost their last six in the league.

Kimpioka dragged an effort wide from the edge of the area in an otherwise uneventful opening period.

The first real chance would come 35 minutes in as Nishan Burkart could only head a superb left-sided cross over the bar from close range.

Just a minute later the hosts drew first blood after excellent play from Jack Diamond on the left to set up Kimpioka who coolly slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

After the break it was just as equally a tense affair as the first but United came close following a counter attack as Largie Ramazani set up Josh Buliuli who saw his effort blocked.

Shortly after Sunderland almost doubled the lead but Diamond could only direct his strike straight at the ‘keeper Alex Fojticek.

The visitors looked to apply extra pressure and Burkart looked disappointed to fire into the wrong side of the netting from the right side of the area.

Diamond, the game’s stand out player, almost added his name to the scoresheet with 20 minutes to play but his long range was excellently tipped past the post.

United looked almost certain to level as Ramazani was played in but the wide man fired well over Max Stryjek’s crossbar.

With just nine minutes remaining the Red Devils found their equaliser as Burkart’s ball across goal was kindly deflected into the path of Ramazani who tapped home at the back post.

The turnaround was almost complete late on as Aliou Traore found space in the area but fired over not troubling Stryjek.