Sunderland get back to winning ways with Portsmouth scalp



Posted Sunday, January 23, 2022 by PA

Sunderland get back to winning ways with Portsmouth scalp

Sunderland’s three-game winless run came to an end as they claimed a much-needed 1-0 victory over Portsmouth to get their automatic promotion push back on track.

Elliot Embleton’s first-half finish settled things at the Stadium of Light, although Portsmouth will feel they should have equalised with one minute left when George Hirst directed a free header over the crossbar.

Pompey were the dominant side for much of the first half but failed to seriously test Sunderland goalkeeper Thorben Hoffmann despite enjoying the bulk of possession.

Ronan Curtis hooked an early effort over the crossbar while Lynden Gooch hooked clear from just in front of his goalline after a corner was flicked on at the front post, but as the opening period wore on, so Sunderland started creating chances of their own.

Gavin Bazunu clawed away Embleton’s curled shot from the corner of the area, but the Portsmouth goalkeeper was beaten five minutes before the break.

Leon Dajaku robbed Sean Raggett of possession before Ross Stewart laid the ball off into Embleton’s path, and the midfielder stroked a low finish into the bottom corner.

The Black Cats came close to extending their lead shortly after the hour mark, but Dan Neil fired wide from 20 yards after Dajaku rolled a square ball into his path.

Portsmouth’s best chance of an equaliser came to nothing with one minute left as unmarked substitute Hirst headed over from a corner.

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