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Match Reports

Pinto nets late equaliser for City at Sunderland

10 April 2018

Ivo Pinto scored a late equaliser as Norwich City came from behind to draw 1-1 at Sunderland in an entertaining Sky Bet Championship match at the Stadium of Light.

Nelson Oliveira hit the post for City in the first-half before Aiden McGeady did the same from the penalty spot five minutes before the break.

Sunderland then gained the advantage when George Honeyman netted just after the hour mark before Pinto nestled home a late equaliser to earn City a point in the north east.

Daniel Farke made four changes to the side which beat Aston Villa 3-1 on Saturday. James Husband and Christoph Zimmermann both returned in defence for Jamal Lewis and Timm Klose and the other changes saw Wes Hoolahan replaced Alex Tettey in midfield and Dennis Srbeny paved the way for Oliveira. It meant the City boss reverted back to the same eleven which started the defeat to Queens Park Rangers on Easter Monday.

Although the scores were goalless at half-time, there was no shortage of action at both ends. After just 11 seconds, Ashley Fletcher had a sight at goal from the edge of the box but his low effort was palmed away well by Angus Gunn at his near post.

City then responded five minutes later when Mario Vrancic sliced over after a James Maddison cutback before the returning Oliveira had a low effort well smothered by Lee Camp. Oliveira then had a glorious chance to open the scoring on 25 minutes when he headed Maddison’s corner against the post.

A few minutes later Oliveira couldn’t get enough on a pinpoint Josh Murphy cross at the back post before at the other end, Lynden Gooch curled inches wide after positive play from McGeady on the left-hand side.

City then went close again on 34 minutes when Murphy scooped the ball just over after a sublime chip from Maddison before Sunderland were awarded a penalty when Grant Hanley fouled Ashley Fletcher.

Although McGeady sent Gunn the wrong way, his spot-kick came crashing back off the post – City were let off again shortly before half-time when Ovie Ejaria hesitated and was eventually dispossessed by Murphy when through on goal.

City switched to a back three in the second-half and seemed content to allow Sunderland more possession. The change in plan looked to be reaping more benefits as City were a real threat on the counter attack.

On 57 minutes, Maddison disposed McGeady before laying the ball left to Oliveira but the City striker’s curling left-footed strike went just wide. Then Oliveira returned the favour moments later, but Maddison could only divert the ball against the post with the goal gaping.

City were made to rue those missed chances as Sunderland took the lead on 63 minutes. McGeady cut inside and his low shot cannoned back off Gunn’s post but fell very kindly for Honeyman as he tapped into an empty net.

The Canaries probed in the closing minutes in search of an equaliser and got into some great shooting positions but Vrancic, Maddison and substitute Dennis Srbeny all missed the target.

However on 89 minutes, City's persistence was rewarded as Hanley prodded forward from a Maddison free-kick and the balll fell kindly for Pinto who slid underneath Camp to level the scores.

And Farke's men could have easily nicked a late winner as Murphy was thwarted by Camp and Maddison blazed over from a good position in stoppage time. 

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