English Premiership

Borini rescues Sunderland

Fabio Borini (AFP Photo)
Fabio Borini (AFP Photo)

Sunderland - Substitute Fabio Borini's injury-time goal snatched a vital 2-2 draw for Sunderland against Crystal Palace at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday.

Dame N'Doye gave the hosts the lead with a deflected long-range strike in the 36th minute.

Connor Wickham hit an equaliser just after the hour mark, before completing the turnaround just six minutes later.

But Borini came off the bench for an injured Lee Cattermole and scored from the tightest of angles to give his side an unlikely, but priceless, point.

Alan Pardew's Palace had gone ten league matches without a win going into this encounter and were in desperate need of points to avoid being dragged into the relegation battle.

Both sides struggled in wet conditions early on, although home goalkeeper Vito Mannone had to be quick off his line to block from Damien Delaney.

Sunderland grew into the game, with January signing Wahbi Khazri seeing his shot deflected wide.

The best chance of the opening half an hour came from a Yohan Cabaye corner, but Palace centre-back Scott Dann, who has five league goals this term, saw his header brilliantly tipped over the bar by Mannone.

With the game opening up, Jermain Defoe was found by a Yann M'Vila cut-back, only for the in-form Sunderland striker to mis-kick when well-placed.

It was Defoe who teed up N'Doye to score the opener, although the Senegalese international was helped by a huge slice of luck as his speculative effort struck Dann and wrong-footed Wayne Hennessey.

That was a first Sunderland goal for former Hull man N'Doye since he joined the Black Cats from Trabzonspor on loan in January.

33-year-old Defoe as ever was proving dangerous for Sunderland, but he was twice denied by Hennessey in the latter stages of the first 45 minutes.

Palace were on the back foot after the restart and their equalising goal came from nothing.

Yannick Bolasie played a simple pass into Wickham, and the forward marked his return to Wearside by drilling in his third goal in two matches, having only scored once all season before his double against West Brom on Saturday.

The 22-year-old inflicted further pain on his previous employers, as he latched onto a loose ball in the penalty area from a corner to lash the Eagles in front.

Wickham's goals late in the 2013-14 season helped keep the Black Cats in the Premier League, but his second brace in four days looked like leaving Sam Allardyce's men second-from-bottom and still a point from safety.

But instead Borini intervened in the first minute of stoppage-time to move Sunderland out of the relegation zone above Newcastle and Norwich on goal difference, ahead of the Magpies' trip to Stoke on Wednesday.

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