Cabral

Spurs 1 Sunderland 3

Published:
by Stuart Vose

Cabral, Brown and Moberg Karlsson all on target.

Sunderland will play for the Barclays Asia Trophy on Saturday after putting Spurs to the sword with three well-taken goals.

Paolo Di Canio's side came from behind after Gylfi Sigurdsson's opener in a game which was shortened due to a pre-match downpour.

Cabral soon levelled with an excellent low finish and Wes Brown – back in action after missing last season through injury – headed Sunderland into the lead just after the hour.

A classic counter-attack secured the Black Cats' place in the final as David Moberg Karlsson raced through to score with virtually the last kick of the game.

Hundreds of Sunderland fans have made the journey to the Far East, with many more watching on TV back home.

And they will have been delighted with their side's work-rate as they out-battled Spurs in extremely difficult conditions.

Kick-off was delayed by half an hour due to a torrential rainstorm which left standing water on the pitch, with the officials taking the decision to reduce the length of each half by five minutes.

Di Canio selected four of his new signings in the starting line-up, with Emanuele Giaccherini, Vito Mannone and Jozy Altidore joining Cabral.

Spurs were on the front foot early on, with Sigurdsson nearly opening the scoring just two minutes in with a free-kick which crept just wide.

A heavy pitch influenced proceedings considerably and a hopeful through ball slithered through to Stephane Sessegnon soon afterwards, but the Benin man's shot was blocked by Michael Dawson before Seb Larsson fired the rebound over.

Adam Johnson then tested Heurelho Gomes after the impressive Giaccherini had dug out an impressive shot on the turn which cleared the crossbar.

Following the initial flurry the game settled somewhat before Spurs took the lead with the best move of the opening stages just before the half-hour.

Kyle Walker scampered down the right to turn a fine cross into the path of Sigurdsson, who met the ball first time and profited from a big deflection to beat Mannone in the Sunderland goal.

Sunderland responded within six minutes; Altidore robbing the dawdling Tom Huddlestone before touching the ball onto the onrushing Cabral, who fired emphatically into the far corner with Gomes at full stretch.

It was a fitting end to an excellent run by the midfielder, who powered down the middle and kept his composure to produce a striker's finish.

Craig Gardner twice nearly ended the half on a spectacular note, coming close with a powerful free-kick before firing off-target from outside the box shortly afterwards.

Sunderland were in the ascendancy as a truncated first half ended, and their momentum continued after the break with Altidore coming close to hooking home from inside the six-yard box only for the ball to break away from him.

Following a break in play due to an unfortunate injury to Spurs' Jan Vertonghen – stretchered off having only come on as a sub at half time – Sunderland continued to press with Altidore coming close again.

The alert Johnson seized possession to the left of goal and slipped the ball to the American, who took a couple of touches and blasted a low shot inches past the far post.

At the other end Mannone pulled off two superb saves, kicking off with an acrobatic tip-over as Emmanuel Adebayor attempted to loft a shot over his head from the left-hand edge of the area.

Then the Italian somehow got an arm up to block at point-blank range after Adebayor created some space for his strike partner.

The saves were to prove key as the Black Cats hit back by taking the lead via a well-worked set-piece on 63 minutes, with substitute Moberg Karlsson influential just moments after coming on just prior to fellow new signing El-Hadji Ba.

The Swede's excellent corner evaded everyone and there was Brown to head in completely unmarked at the back post just after the hour mark.

Di Canio's side were bearing up well in the tough conditions and could have had further goals, with Sessegnon racing clear and squaring for Altidore only for substitute goalkeeper Brad Friedel to save well with his legs.

The American stopper was at it again soon afterwards, blocking well from Ba after a corner was hurriedly cleared to the edge of the box.

Connor Wickham, Valentin Roberge and James McClean also saw action off the bench in the closing stages as Sunderland secured their place in Saturday's final.

Moberg Karlsson capped an excellent evening's work with virtually the last kick of the game, beating the offside trap to race through and slip the ball under Friedel and into the far corner.

Sunderland: Mannone, Gardner, Colback, O'Shea (c), Brown (Roberge, 77), Cabral, Larsson (Ba, 62), Johnson (Moberg Karlsson, 62), Giaccherini (McClean, 78), Sessegnon, Altidore (Wickham, 74).

Subs not used: Vaughan, Mandron, Cuellar, Westwood, Pickford.

Tottenham: Gomes (Friedel, 41), Walker, Rose, Dawson (c), Caulker (Vertonghen, 41 [Fryers, 51]), Huddlestone (Carroll, 70), Parker, Lennon (Defoe, 41), Dempsey (Townsend, 70), Sigurdsson, Adebayor.

Subs not used: Lloris, Naughton, Assou-Ekotto.