SUNDERLAND PICKED up their first win of pre-season this morning with a dramatic finish thanks to late goals from Frazier Campbell and Ryan Noble.
The Black Cat’s ‘wooden spoon’ clash in the Peace Cup saw Martin O’Neill’s side beat Eredivisie side FC Groningen thanks to goals from Connor Wickham, Campbell and Noble.
O’Neill made several changes from the side which lost 1-0 Seongnam earlier in the week with youngster Ben Wilson starting between the sticks, Carlos Cuellar making his first start at the back and Craig Lynch joining Campbell and Wickham up top.
Former Ipswich prodigy Wickham handed the Wearsider’s an 18th minute lead when he took advantage of goalmouth chaos to finish from close range.
In the 37th minute though, Groningen were level when striker Hyun Jun Suk teed himself for an acrobatic bicycle kick and finished with aplomb to draw his side level.
Just two minutes before half time, Mitchell Schet put his side in front for the first time, cutting in from the right to finish neatly with a low shot.
With just two minutes left on the clock and Sunderland heading for successive pre-season defeats in their South Korean trip, Campbell rescued at least a point for O’Neill’s side when he latched onto Craig Gardner’s centre to level.
Then, in the 90th minute, Noble did the damage and sunk the Dutch side as he crashed home a superb 25-yard effort to get the Black Cat’s pre-season up and running, securing a third-place finish in the 2012 Peace Cup.
Starting XI: Wilson; Gardner, Brown, Cuellar, Richardson; Cattermole, Meyler, Colback; Campbell, Wickham & Lynch.
Substitutes: Pickford (GK); Egan, Turner, Bramble, Laing, Knott, Reed, Deacon & Noble.