We must rely on the official club site, and texts from Pete Sixsmith watching at home, for our knowledge of Sunderland’s resilient display in the final preseason friendly, against Borussia Dortmund in the woefully named Cashpoint Arena in Altach, Austria.
A powerful header from Lamine Kone, a man David Moyes must keep unless he has Charlie Hurley up his sleeve, kept the unbeaten summer record intact and gave strong reason for hope in spite of the ponderous progress on inward transfers. That – the failure to sign anyone – is surely about to change but for now, let us feed on the positives – and with any luck SAFC.com won’t mind either the properly credited use of an extract from its own report or the photo of the new away strip, which the club has in recent season been only too happy to provide in any case.
As results go, then, a satisfactory approach to our 10th successive season in the Premier League. Let us hope it is a good one, whether or not the current pattern of stats, bets and tips suggests SAFC can hope for the welcome rarity of a stress-free autumn, winter and spring …
A gladiatorial display ensured a satisfying end to Sunderland’s unbeaten pre-season as the Black Cats held Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 stalemate …
… Thomas Tuchel’s side controlled large spells of the game, showcasing why they’re one of Europe’s very best sides, but Sunderland were resilient and battled tirelessly, displaying a grit that will be key at the Etihad Stadium.
Nuri Sahin opened the scoring with 16 minutes played after Sunderland failed to clear, but the remainder of the opening period fell flat as David Moyes’s side thwarted the Bundesliga giants.
Changes were made at the break as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Emre Mor injected further quality into the Dortmund attack, but it was Sunderland who crafted the better opportunities as Duncan Watmore failed to produce a finish after racing through on goal.
Lamine Kone made no such mistake and his bullet header levelled the encounter on 65 minutes.
… Pre-season is over; the Premier League is here.
Sunderland: Mannone (Pickford, 46), O’Shea, van Aanholt, Kaboul, Kone, Cattermole (Embleton, 84), Rodwell (Gooch, 77), Lens (Honeyman, 82), Khazri (J Robson, 46), Watmore (Asoro, 67), Borini (Greenwood, 84).
Subs not used: Ledger, T Robson.
Dortmund: Burki (Weidenfeller, 46), Schmelzer (Pulisic, 66), Bartra (Mor, 46), Sokratis (Schurrle, 66), Passlack (Piszczek, 66), Sahin (Guerreiro, 66), Castro (Weigl, 66), Dembele (Merino, 46), Kagawa (Gotze, 66), Rode (Aubameyang, 46), Ramos (Burnic, 66)
Sub not used: Bandowski.
And from the Sunderland Echo – and how sad it is to hear Chris Young, an excellent football reporter, is heading from the paper for a new challenge – came this:
… Sunderland didn’t cave in [after going behind] and scored a deserved equaliser through Lamine Kone’s free header at the backpost midway through the second half. It capped off a successful pre-season for Sunderland on the pitch, despite the growing urgency for action in the transfer market.
Read more at: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/sport/football/sunderland-afc/borussia-dortmund-1-sunderland-1-cats-end-pre-season-unbeaten-after-draw-with-german-giants-1-8054293
M Salut adds: it’s a potent mix: alarming lack, so far, of progress on transfers, provoked by the FA’s inexcusable dithering on Big Sam, mitigated by a sequence of friendly results we cannot complain about. I wouldn’t mind seeing the bookies’ football tips on Jermain Defoe’s chances of sneaking into an Allardyce England squad …