Huge Sunderland crowd witness return to Championship football as ex-Tottenham starlet Jack Clarke’s opener is cancelled out by Coventry star’s Viktor Gyokeres’ 20-yard stunner


Sunderland announced their return to the second tier of English football with a 1-1 draw against Coventry.

A huge crowd of 40,851 were in attendance for the Black Cats’ first Championship fixture in four seasons, the largest of the EFL’s opening weekend by some distance.

Sunderland fans unveiled an impressive tifo before kick-off at the Stadium Of Light

Sky Sports

Sunderland fans unveiled an impressive tifo before kick-off at the Stadium Of Light

Over 40,000 fans were in attendance at the Stadium Of Light

Sky Sports

Over 40,000 fans were in attendance at the Stadium Of Light

Those in attendance were not disappointed either, with Wearside hosting a truly entertaining match.

After a bright start to the game, Alex Neil’s side took the lead after 14 minutes, much to the delight of the home fans.

Lynden Gooch broke free down the right flank, before his floated cross found Jack Clarke in the box.

Despite his small stature, the former Tottenham man rose highest to head the ball into the back of the Coventry net.

Sunderland dominated for the duration of the first half and kept the Sky Blues at bay, giving them the advantage going in at the break.

The second half saw Elliot Embleton go close for Sunderland as he sent his effort narrowly over the bar, while Coventry also posed a real threat with Matty Godden who sent a decent effort wide of the mark.

Clarke put Sunderland ahead with a header after 14 minutes

Getty

Clarke put Sunderland ahead with a header after 14 minutes

Clarke was clearly delighted to give Sunderland the lead

Getty

Clarke was clearly delighted to give Sunderland the lead

It came after a great cross from Gooch on the right flank

Getty

It came after a great cross from Gooch on the right flank

Coventry continued to push forward and could have seen themselves level through Kasey Palmer, however his effort from the edge of the area went over the bar.

The Sky Blues did get their breakthrough six minutes from time as Viktor Gyokeres scored a sublime solo effort to draw the game level.

The 24-year-old has been linked with the likes of Fulham and Middlesbrough this summer and could attract more interest following his stunning effort from 20 yards.

While it was an afternoon that ended in frustration for Sunderland, supporters will be delighted to be back in the Championship and will no doubt be hoping that their blockbuster home support can help them to retain their second tier status over the course of the campaign.





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