Premier League - Sunderland draw with Wigan

Eurosport - Sat, 06 Feb 17:20:00 2010

Kenwyne Jones's header cancelled out Mohamed Diame's opener as Sunderland and Wigan played out a pulsating 1-1 draw in their Premier League clash at the Stadium of Light.

Wigan Athletic's Mohamed Diame (centre) scores the first goal of the game - 0

Sunderland came into the match on the back of 10 matches without a win, but the early signs suggested they were desperate to stop it becoming 11.

They pressured the visitors from the kick-off. That early possession culminated in Alan Hutton making a solid run up the right and releasing a pass to Darren Bent, who turned and fired powerfully and on target - but directly at Chris Kirkland in the Wigan goal.

Three minutes later, however, the match began to swing Wigan's way - even if Paul Scharner completely missed the ball when swinging at Hugo Rodallega's inch-perfect pass.

The visitors' disappointment lasted just eight minutes, with Diame cutting in from the right flank, wrong-footing the defence and burying an unstoppable shot past Craig Gordon at the near post.

It was an outstanding goal, and the same player could have added another 20 minutes later with an overhead kick from a corner.

Sunderland were restricted to a couple of chances in the opening period, with Jones seeing his deflected shot glance off the post on the half-hour mark, and Lee Cattermole unleashing a long-range rocket 10 minutes later that drew a brilliant stop from Kirkland.

Wigan went in holding on to a lead they deserved on the balance of play, but it was the Black Cats who started the second half in better form as they pushed forward desperately seeking an equaliser.

A string of chances came along, with Scharner just depriving Bent of a clean header from point-blank range two minutes after the restart then only the linesman denying the England striker seven minutes further on, when he rounded the keeper after Jones put him clean through.

All the pushing forward saw Sunderland leave gaps at the back, however, and Wigan very nearly doubled their lead on 57 minutes as George McCartney drew a nerveless point-blank stop from Gordon.

And four minutes later Charles N'Zogbia fluffed a seemingly unmissable chance from similar range, pulling the ball wide when it looked easier to score.

The Black Cats immediately punished their guests' wastefulness as Jordan Henderson delivered an inch-perfect cross from the right that Jones leapt to meet and divert a lovely finish into the bottom left corner.

Sunderland could have had another two minutes later as the frontman curled just wide of the right post, and his injury-time effort was only stopped when Jones inadvertently got in the way of his otherwise goal-bound shot.

The frantic pace of the match finally died down as the players tired, and with neither side able to break the deadlock it was a well-earned point for both sides.

Wigan will be the happier to have got away with the draw, picking up a point after two losses in a row.

Any satisfaction that Steve Bruce's Sunderland side might have gained from the point was cut short, however, as Henderson was stretchered off with 20 minutes to go after a horrendous-looking ankle injury that looks likely to keep him out of the side for some time.

Toby Keel / Eurosport

Not already a Yahoo! user ? to get a free Yahoo! Account