Report: Sunderland AFC 1-1 Rotherham United

Sunderland AFC 1-1 Rotherham United


Late drama at the Stadium of Light saw Sunderland strike in the 88th minute against Rotherham United to extend their unbeaten run to 12 games. 


The Millers struck first on Wearside, with Michael Ihiekwe heading home from close range after 17 minutes of play. 


Alex Pritchard entered the fray shortly after the restart and the midfielder combined with Luke O’Nien to craft a great opening, but the midfielder’s low cross was just out of Ross Stewart’s reach. 


Pritchard crashed a 30-yard free kick into the side-netting, but a late Ihiekwe own goal hauled the Lads level to clinch an important point in the battle for a top six finish. 


Alex Neil made three changes for the fixture, with Trai Hume, Callum Doyle and Jay Matete replacing Carl Winchester, Elliot Embleton and Patrick Roberts.


The Millers, meanwhile, named an unchanged side under the Wearside lights, as 20-goal top scorer Michael Smith led the line. 


Against an electric Stadium of Light backdrop, there was thunderous start to the encounter and Matete earned the first yellow card eight minutes in for a robust challenge on Dan Barlaser. 


The Lads controlled the ball during the opening exchanges, boasting 76% of the play in the opening 15 minutes, but Rotherham led shortly after. 


A brave block from Danny Batth denied Ben Wiles, but the danger wasn’t averted and Ihiekwe headed the Millers in front from the resulting corner.  


A defiant roar went up from the Roker End in response and Hume forced a corner, driving down the right before fizzing a dangerous low cross towards Nathan Broadhead. 


Wiles fired wide and Chiedozie Ogbene’s cross entered and exited the danger zone in the stages that followed, but it remained 1-0 at the break. 


A driving run from Lynden Gooch – moments after he had flown down the opposite flank – crafted the first chance after the restart, but Corry Evans blazed high and wide. 


Pritchard replaced Broadhead with 53 minutes on the clock, with Jack Clarke entering the fray six minutes later in place of Hume. 


Bright play from Pritchard set O’Nien free after the hour mark, but his low cross was a whisker away from Ross Stewart’s outstretched boot.


Pritchard took matters into his own hands and sent a 30-yard set piece crashing into the side netting, as Smith spurned a key opening at the other end with Anthony Patterson to beat.


And that miss proved costly for the Millers, as Ihiekwe headed into his own net with two minutes remaining to ensure the Lads claimed an important point in the race for a Play-Off place. 


Sunderland AFC: Patterson, Wright, Batth, Doyle, Hume (Clarke 59), Evans, Matete (Embleton 69), O'Nien, Gooch, Broadhead (Pritchard 53), Stewart.
Subs not used: Hoffmann, Xhemajli, Neil, Roberts.


Rotherham United: Johansson, Edmonds-Green, Wood, Ihiekwe, Harding, Rathbone (Lindsay 80), Barlaser, Osei-Tutu (Mattock 77), Wiles, Ogbene, Smith. 
Subs not used: Chapman, Bola, Odoffin, Kayode, Kelly.


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