Sunderland v Leicester

Game of the Day: SAFC 2 Leicester 1

Published:
by Ashley Houghton

Reyna scores twice to seal win.

Sunderland 2 Leicester City 1

1st April 2002

Claudio Reyna’s first-half double strike heaped the pressure on bottom of the table Leicester City.

The American international struck with two superb long-range efforts inside the opening 17 minutes to lift Peter Reid's side six points above the bottom three.

Paul Dickov replied for the Foxes and almost salvaged a point as the home side were made to hang on for a priceless victory.

The Black Cats got off to the perfect start in the third minute when Reyna found space 20 yards out to rifle a left-footed shot into the top corner.

Leicester replied within minutes, though, as Stefan Oakes' delivery was met powerfully by Scottish centre-half Matt Elliott. Though his header already appeared to have crossed the line after initially being tipped onto a post by Thomas Sorensen, Dickov made sure by bundling the ball over the line.

Sunderland regained the advantage just after the quarter-hour as Muzzy Izzet brought down Phillips on the edge of the Leicester area, and Reyna stepped up to dispatch the free-kick into the top corner past a flailing Ian Walker.

That lead could have been doubled on the half-hour Kevin Kilbane intercepted Frank Sinclair's poor pass and raced past Lee Marshall before firing in a shot that Walker parried away.

Then Walker denied a superb Phillips effort, while Reyna was unfortunate not to complete a first-half hat-trick as his 42nd-minute volley smashed against a post.

Leicester ensured some nail-biting moments as they sought an equaliser, Sorensen denying Dickov with an excellent stop in the final 15 minutes.

Sunderland: Sorensen, Gray, Craddock, Bjorklund, Williams, Kilbane, Reyna (Thirlwell, 85), McCann, McAteer, Phillips, Quinn.

Subs not used: Macho, McCartney, Butler, Mboma.