Premier League - Birmingham salvage draw

Eurosport - Mon, 16 Aug 00:09:00 2010

Birmingham came from two goals down to salvage an opening-day 2-2 draw away to Sunderland in the Premier League.

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Darren Bent gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot after 24 minutes when Stephen Carr was adjudged to have brought down Frazier Campbell in the box following a quick break.

Sunderland captain Lee Cattermole picked up a deserved second yellow card before half-time but they nevertheless doubled their lead when former Newcastle man Carr headed past his own keeper.

However Scott Dann headed Blues' first before Liam Ridgewell bundled home the equaliser in the dying moments, with both goals coming from set-pieces.

Despite thoroughly dominating the opening exchanges, it took a slice of good fortune for the home side to take the lead.

Miss a Match? We didn't

Sunderland 2 Birmingham 2

New Premier League referee Anthony Taylor adjudged Carr to have scythed down Campbell inside the box when replays suggested it may well have been outside - but the decision was close. Bent dispatched the penalty expertly.

Bent could have doubled his side's lead moments later but, having exchanged passes with strike partner Campbell, dragged wide bearing down on Ben Foster.

The hosts remained in the ascendancy but further chances were at a premium in a half littered with free-kicks - Cattermole was particularly culpable.

He was fortunate not to have seen a straight red for a stray elbow on Garry O'Connor but was soon off for two late, if not malicious, challenges.

Birmingham were better come the second half but failed to test Simon Mignolet until close to the hour mark when substitute Nikola Zigic - who gave the visitors a focal point of attack - stung the palms of the young Belgian following some hesitant defending.

But by that time Carr had completed his torrid return to the North East, the home fans gleefully celebrating his own-goal.

Alex McLeish's men continued to toil but were horribly out of sorts, and, had it not been for their numerical advantage, they would surely have left empty-handed.

As the Black Cats dropped deeper, the corner count rose; and it was from one of these in the 76th minute that Dann halved the deficit.

Birmingham continued to go long in search of an equaliser and Dann almost grabbed himself a second in the 81st minute but somehow managed to glance a Sebastian Larsson centre past the far post from close range.

That chance had looked to be the last, but Ridgewell stuck out a boot to grab a draw they scarcely deserved in the 89th minute from a James McFadden centre.

Marcus Foley / Eurosport

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