Paolo Di Canio and Cabral

Black Cats chalk up win in Italy

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Wickham nets decider in practice match.

Emanuele Giaccherini made his Sunderland debut and Connor Wickham bagged the winner as Sunderland prevailed over FC Chiasso in a practice match.

Paolo Di Canio's Black Cats faced the Swiss side at their training HQ in Italy as part of their preparations for the new Barclays Premier League season.

Wickham, on as a half-time substitute, netted the deciding goal just after the hour as Di Canio saw his side get another valuable work-out under their belts in the Italian summer heat.

Giaccherini was handed a start in a wide midfield role after his transfer from reigning Serie A champions Juventus was confirmed on Tuesday.

The Italian international completed 74 minutes and showed some neat touches before making way as head coach Di Canio gave game time to a total of 19 players.

Opponents Chiasso provided Sunderland with a good workout although they rarely tested goalkeeper Vito Mannone with the Black Cats' defence turning in a solid showing.

A quiet first half produced a handful of half-chances for Sunderland, who began to make more headway after the break.

Wickham made the breakthrough with a neat finish on 64 minutes, meeting Jack Colback's teasing cross to deftly guide the ball home with the outside of his right boot from eight yards out.

Ji Dong-won then saw two efforts cleared off the line while Wickham was denied a second goal by a good save from the Chiasso keeper after meeting Craig Gardner's ball into the box.

James McClean replaced Giaccherini for the closing stages and forced another excellent intervention from the visiting stopper with a powerful drive.

With their training camp drawing to a close, Sunderland will now head back to the UK before jetting out to the Far East this weekend ahead of the Barclays Asia Trophy tournament.

Sunderland: Mannone, Gardner, Colback, Brown (Cuellar, 61), O'Shea (Roberge, 61), Larsson (Vaughan, 80), Cabral (Ba, 70), Giaccherini (McClean, 74), Johnson (Moberg Karlsson, 46), Sessegnon (Ji Dong-won, 46), Altidore (Wickham, 46).