Groningen 2 Sunderland 3
Graeme Anderson reports from the Suwon Stadium.
SUNDERLAND snatched victory at the death in their ‘wooden spoon’ game with Eredivisie side Groningen today thanks to late goals from Fraizer Campbell and Ryan Noble.
Connor Wickham had given the Wearsiders an 18th minute lead when he took advantage of goalmouth scramble from a corner to tap home at close range.
But the Dutch side were stronger than Sunderland for large parts of the game and equalised in the 37th when striker Hyun Jun Suk who acrobatically flicked a ball up with his back to goal and produced an overhead kick.
They snatched the lead in the 43rd minute when winger Mitchell Schet cut in from the right-wing and steered a low shot home to give them a lead at the break that they rarely looked like surrending in the second-half.
But just when Sunderland seemed to be heading for defeat, Fraizer Campbell converted a Craig Gardner cross from the right inside the six-yard box in the 88th minute.
And after substitute Genero Zeefuik had missed a 90th minute open goal for the Dutch, Sunderland substitute Ryan Noble raced onto a long ball and volleyed home a fabulous 25-yarder to give his team a late and, at times, unlikely victory.
They might have left it late but Sunderland deserved every credit for continuing to battle all the way to the end in sweltering conditions.