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Football: Barclays Asia Trophy – Speedy Sunderland sink Spurs in Hong Kong

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A hard-running Sunderland side beat Tottenham Hotspur 3-1 in the first semi-final of the Barclays Asia Trophy, with former Manchester United centre-back Wes Brown among the scorers at the Hong Kong Stadium.

Gylfi Sigurdsson opened the scoring for Spurs, before new signing Cabral (pictured), Brown and substitute David Moberg Karlsson scored for the Black Cats to complete an impressive victory in difficult conditions.

“It was a good performance,” said Brown, who was back in action after missing last season through injury. “We’re a tight squad and as you can see, it’s going well.”

A torrential downpour before the game caused the match to be postponed by 30 minutes and shortened to 40-minute halves.

Paolo Di Canio selected four of his new signings in the starting line-up, with Emanuele Giaccherini, goalkeeper Vito Mannone and burly USA striker Jozy Altidore joining Cabral as Sunderland started well, making better use of the drier areas on the flanks.

However, it was Spurs who opened the scoring in the 27th minute when right-back Kyle Walker did well to reach the byline before cutting back a low cross into the path of Sigurdsson, whose right-foot shot deflected off Sunderland captain John O’Shea and past Mannone.

Sunderland equalised in the 33rd minute when Altidore intercepted Tom Huddlestone’s underhit pass to release Cabral, who dribbled to the top of the area before sliding a shot into the far corner past Heurelho Gomes.

Altidore had good chances in the second half, while Mannone made several excellent saves before Brown headed Sunderland into the lead in the 63rd minute. Swedish substitute Moberg Karlsson – on for winger Adam Johnson – swung in a right-wing corner, with Brown acrobatically diving backwards to guide his header home.

20130724_Sunderland3-1SpursBoth teams had good chances before Moberg Karlsson rounded off the scoring in the 79th minute by running onto a through ball by the excellent Stephane Sessegnon and slipping 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).

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

Photos: Sunderland AFC

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