Game of the Day: SAFC 3 Man City 1

by Kate Smith

A look back on an action-packed first game at the SoL.

15th August 1997

Manchester City were Sunderland's first-ever league competition at the Stadium of Light back in 1997.

The Lads were victorious in the Division One clash that would become one of the most memorable games to be played at the Black Cats' new home.

The game saw manager Peter Reid hand a debut to his new signing and future legend Kevin Phillips, but it was his strike partner Niall Quinn who made history on this occasion.

The Irishman gave Sunderland a flying start in the 17th minute, entering his name into the record books as the first goal-scorer in Sunderland's new 40,000 all-seater stadium.

Quinn's early goal was not the only feat achieved during the game, which had everything a football fan could expect and more within the 90 minutes.

Man City's Ireland international Alan Kernaghan had the less dubious honour of being the first player to be shown a red card at the new ground, after being sent off following two fouls on Phillips.

Then it was Sunderland skipper Kevin Ball who would be remembered as the first player to concede a penalty, as the midfielder brought down Georgi Kinkladze in the 76th minute and the referee pointed to the spot.

The Georgian international sent goalkeeper Lionel Perez the wrong way and earned City an equaliser.

However, Sunderland survived a spirited fight-back by ten-man City to score twice in the last six minutes.

Kevin Phillips restored the home side's lead in the 84th minute with his first goal for the club and five minutes later record signing Lee Clark found the back of the net to illuminate the new stadium with a resounding victory.

Sunderland: Perez, Makin, M. Gray, Clark, Ball, Melville, Agnew (S. Aiston, 83), Ord (D. Williams, 32), Quinn, Phillips, C. Byrne Subs not used: J. Mullin

Man City : Margetson, Brightwell, Vaughan, Wiekens, Symons, Kernaghan (s/o 24), Brannan (N. Summerbee, 74), Horlock, Bradbury, Kinkladze, Rosler (J. Van Blerk , 32) Subs not used: N. Lever