Coventry City 2-1 Sunderland AFC
Sunderland were left frustrated on the road again on Saturday afternoon, going down 2-1 to Coventry City at the Coventry Building Society Arena.
Jamie Allen and Viktor Gyokeres scored the goals in each half to condemn the Lads in Warwickshire.
Amad’s curling strike at the death proved a consolation for the Lads on a difficult day.
Aji Alese, Patrick Roberts and Trai Hume all returned to the starting XI as Tony Mowbray made three changes to his XI from Tuesday’s loss at Rotherham United.
Mowbray’s side took on the first shot on target, Hume testing former Sunderland goalkeeper Ben Wilson, before going mighty close again as Danny Batth's header came back off the crossbar.
Aside from a wayward Kasey Palmer strike early on, the first shot in anger from Coventry came via leading scorer Gyokeres, who advanced into the box 17 minutes in but could only blaze over.
But the hosts did take the lead inside the first half-hour, as Gyokeres pulled it back from the right-hand side for Allen, who swept in the opener from 12 yards out.
Coventry remained strong and went close again after a patient and powerful Gyokeres run saw him slide an effort just wide, before Gustavo Hamer sent a volley narrowly off target from 15 yards out.
As the half came to a close, Sunderland forced another opportunity from a set-play, but Batth headed over from Amad’s free-kick delivery.
Gyokeres’ deflected strike off Ballard whistled wide, as the first half ended in a brash manner with several fiery moments between the two sides.
After the break, chances began at a premium and the opening stages of the second half were dominated by Palmer’s withdrawal with a hamstring injury.
Amad tested Wilson with a shot from an angle inside the area, the stopper parrying it for a corner which was dealt with.
Hamer let fly again from the edge of the box just after the hour mark, Alese making a strong sliding block.
With just over 15 minutes to play, the Lads won a succession of corners and saw Wilson tip over Hume’s close-range header, before Amad’s great piece of skill set up Roberts to turn and roll a shot agonisingly wide.
The defeat was sealed late on, as substitute Matt Godden got clear down the right-hand side, squaring for Gyokeres who bundled it in from inside the six-yard box for two.
There was still time for a response in the dying embers, Amad curling excellently past Wilson to make it 2-1.
Try as they might, the Black Cats were unable to force their way past the Coventry rear guard any further and return to Wearside empty-handed – next week’s hosting of Stoke City the opportunity for redemption.
SAFC: Patterson, Hume, Ballard, Batth ©, Alese (Bennette 80’), Neil (O’Nien 74’), Michut (Ba 69’), Roberts, Amad, Clarke (Pritchard 69’), Gelhardt (Ekwah 69’).
Subs not used: Bass, Lihadji.
Coventry City: Wilson, Norton-Cuffy, McFadzean ©, Doyle (Rose 80’), Bidwell (Godden 80’), McNally, Allen, Eccles, Hamer, Palmer (Wilson-Esbrand 52’), Gyokeres.
Subs not used: Moore, Maguire, Walker, Dabo.