Lively encounter at the DW Stadium ends in 1-1 draw
WIGAN ATHLETIC . . . . . . . . . . . . 1
SUNDERLAND . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Cattermole sent off 21
Antolin Alcaraz's late goal ensured a point for Latics in what proved to be a very lively encounter at the DW Stadium.
The captain's first goal for the club came following a Hugo Rodallega free kick. Alcaraz managed to get something on Tom Clevery's (right) follow-up strike, pushing the ball off the underside of the crossbar to level the scores, after Asamoah Gyan's vollied debut goal had given Steve Bruces side the lead.
Latics took control early in the first-half, with James McCarthy coming closest to putting his team ahead, scooping his shot just over the bar. Rodallega looked lively down the left-wing, firing several great crosses into the box, and looking strong against a depleted Sunderland defence.
Former Latics midfielder Lee Cattermole was sent off for for the second time is as many games for the Black Cats. With only 20 minutes on the clock, he chased Rodallega 35 yards before a ridiculous challenge gave referee Andre Marriner no option but to give the 22 year-old his marching orders.
Latics came out strong again in the second-half, with James McCarthy finding plenty of room for himself in midfield.
Bruce brought Asamoah Gyan on at halftime for Welbeck, in what proved to be an inspired substitution for the away team. The double substitution of N'Zogbia and Di Santo worked well for Latics, with Di Santo really impressing on his debut, with several mazy runs into the box, and putting a great ball into Rodallega with his first touch of the game.
IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Franco Di Santo
Latics continued to press forward, with Di Santo, N'Zogbia and Rodallega linking up well, before the equalising goal in the 86th minute. Di Santo could have won it for Wigan Athletic, but his injury time shot was too high to make a difference.
Plenty to talk about in a game that very easily could have gone Latics' way, but ended in a draw against a ten-man Sunderland side.
Latics: Al Habsi; Boyce, Gohouri, Alcaraz, Figueroa; Thomas (Di Santo, 53), Diame; Stam (N'Zogbia, 53), McCarthy, Rodallega; Boselli (Cleverley, 75)
Subs: Kirkland; Watson, Caldwell, Gomez
Sunderland: Mignolet; Richardson (Mensah, 80), Cattermole, Malbranque, Henderson, Bent, Welbeck (Gyan, 46), Onouha, Bramble, El Mohamady (Riveros, 33), Ferdinand
Subs: Carson, Bardsley, Zenden, Colback