Stephane Sessegnon

Run-out for Black Cats

by Andrew Lisgo

Six debutants feature in practice game at training camp.

Stephane Sessegnon netted five goals as Sunderland recorded a 13-1 win over a local select XI at the club’s training camp.

Paolo Di Canio’s men continued their preparations for the new campaign, playing their first game of pre-season in a practice match which saw six debutants for the Black Cats.

New boys Jozy Altidore, David Moberg Karlsson and Valentin Roberge were also on the scoresheet, whilst goals from Danny Graham, Mikael Mandron, Seb Larsson and Ji Dong-won completed the scoring.

Vito Mannone played the first half in goal, as did midfielder Cabral, while new signing El-Hadji Ba featured in the second half.

Sunderland took an early lead through Sessegnon after just two minutes when the frontman linked up well with Adam Johnson on the right flank. The Black Cats duo played a neat one-two, with Sessegnon striking the ball into the bottom corner after running onto Johnson’s back-heeled flick.

Sessegnon grabbed his second goal of the game in style 10 minutes later, cutting inside to fire home after Roberge played a through ball down the left.

Di Canio’s men continued to attack through Johnson and Larsson on either side and Sessegnon duly grabbed his hat-trick on 18 minutes.

A quick run down the right-hand side of the box from Ji Dong-won created the third goal, as he cut inside and found Sessegnon, who fired home.

Just one minute later, Sessegnon notched his fourth goal of the game after Cabral won possession with a tough tackle outside the box. Johnson collected the ball and his deflected shot fell to Sessegnon, who found the back of the net once again.

Sessegnon grabbed his fifth goal of the game on the half-hour mark. Johnson was once again the instigator, playing in the Beninese forward who beat a defender before chesting the ball down past the keeper and rolling the ball into the net.

Ji Dong-won then grabbed the sixth goal for the Black Cats with a headed effort from a cross by Larsson, who got in on the act when he beat two players to fire powerfully home to make it 7-0 at half time.

Di Canio made a host of changes at the break, introducing Altidore, Ba and Moberg Karlsson for their Black Cats debuts. New boy Roberge played the full 90 minutes at centre-back along with Jack Colback at left-back and Craig Gardner at right-back, who put in an energetic performance in the heat.

It was Moberg Karlsson who made an immediate impact, notching the eighth goal for the Black Cats just after the break. Quick feet on the right flank beat two defenders before the winger found the back of the net with a fine strike from the edge of the box.

Just before the hour mark another new boy got on the scoresheet as Moberg Karlsson's deep corner was met by Roberge, who towered above the defence to head home and make it 9-0.

Altidore marked his debut with a goal, cleverly bringing the ball down on the edge of the box and turning his man before hitting the ball across the keeper and into the bottom corner.

Academy graduate Mikael Mandron was introduced for the final 15 minutes, replacing Larsson, and the young Frenchman showed great pace on numerous occasions down the left wing.

With 15 minutes to go the local side were awarded a penalty after Keiren Westwood was alleged to have brought down his opponent. The resulting spot-kick was converted straight down the middle of the goal.

However, Sunderland came up with a quick response straight from kick-off. Graham and Altidore linked up well with the American laying the ball off to his strike partner, who smashed the ball low into the far corner.

Mandron continued to look bright and was rewarded for his efforts with a goal on 80 minutes. He showed great pace down the left flank, beating three defenders before firing home from a tight angle.

Westwood was called into action late on, tipping a curling free-kick over the bar when the ball looked destined for the top corner.

And the scoring was complete with three minutes to go when Moberg Karlsson grabbed his second goal of the game, cutting in off the right wing to score with his left foot.

Sunderland: Mannone (Westwood, 46), Gardner, O’Shea (Brown, 46), Roberge, Colback, Johnson (Karlsson, 46), N’Diaye (Vaughan, 46), Cabral (Ba, 46), Larsson (Mandron, 70), Sessegnon (Graham, 46), Ji Dong-won (Altidore, 46).