A young Leeds United Under-23s side were defeated 2-1 at the Stadium of Light by Sunderland in the Premier League Cup, in a closely fought encounter.
The home side made the brightest start to the match and nearly took the lead from a free-kick inside six minutes. Caden Kelly’s cross was met by the head of Arbenit Xhemajli, which went just over, landing on the roof of the net.
Sunderland prevented Leeds from creating opportunities in the opening period and were limited to a Harvey Sutcliffe strike which went wide.
The Black Cats threatened the Leeds goal again in the 19th minute, breaking forward at speed down the left, with Nathan Newall forcing Harry Christie into a good stop.
Four minutes later, Sunderland took the lead. Kelly whipped in a corner and defender Cameron Jessup was on hand to fire a volley into the back of the net from close range.
Sunderland were forced into a change with striker Harry Gardiner going off injured an his replacement Joe Ryder almost had an immediate impact, teeing up Newall to strike from just inside the Leeds box, with his attempt going just over.
Ethan Kachosa then forced a stop from Harry Christy from a narrow angle as the hosts continued to pile on the pressure.
A rare Leeds break saw Amari Miller fire over from 20 yards, whilst Black Cats captain Stephen Wearne again forced Christy into action, this time with a long range attempt.
The Whites did go into the break level though thanks to a moment of individual brilliance from Crysecio Summerville with four minutes of regular time remaining in the first period. He picked up the ball 35 yards from goal and superbly weaved his way through the Sunderland defence and into the box, before brilliantly finding the top left corner.
Half time: Sunderland 1-1 Leeds United
Goal-scorer Summerville and defender Pascal Struijk were replaced at the break, with Nohan Kenneh and Stuart McKinstry introduced by Mark Jackson.
The Whites began the second half strongly, winning an early corner. At the set-piece the ball landed at the feet of Sean McGurk and only an unbelievable stop from Jack McIntryre prevented Leeds from going in front.
At the resulting corner, Leeds again went close, with Max Dean heading wide following another ball into the box by McKinstry.
However, it was the hosts who regained the lead 10 minutes into the second half, Newall broke into the box and crossed low for Kachosa who was on hand to slot home.
Seven minutes later Sunderland could have gone further ahead when Ben Middlemas sent Ryder into the Leeds box, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
Leeds again threatened from a set-piece, with James Debayo seeing a header cleared off the line, before Kelly brought out another fine stop from Christy, with the Leeds stopper denying a well-hit strike from 25 yards.
A McKinstry cross then found Kenneh in the Sunderland box and he tried an impulsive bicycle-kick, which was well blocked.
Leeds again saw another opportunity cleared off the line, this time Kris Moore met McKinstry’s cross at a free-kick, with the Black Cats continuing to hang on.
Sunderland were reduced to 10 men with eight minutes of regular time remaining as Ryder was shown two yellow cards in the space of three minutes.
Leeds continued to push forward and both Dean and McGurk fired wide from the edge of the box.
Kenneh then had a chance to win it when Harvey Sutcliffe’s cross fell to him in the Sunderland area, but he couldn’t get the better of McIntrye, before Miller fired over, as the Black Cats held on for the victory.
Full time: Sunderland 2-1 Leeds United
Premier League Cup
Sunderland 2 (Jessup 23, Kachosa 55)
Leeds United 1 (Summerville 41)
Sunderland: McIntyre, Johnson, Bainbridge, Wearne (C) (Scott 45), Jessup, Xhemajli (Fieldson 45), Kachosa, Kelly, Gardiner (Ryder 30), Middlemas, Newall (Scott 45) Subs not used: Bond, Lohia.
Leeds: Christy, Sutcliffe, Ferguson (Gray 56), Struijk (Kenneh 45), Moore, Debayo, Summerville (McKinsty 45), Snowdon, Dean, McGurk, Miller. Subs not used: Ombang, Spencer.
Booked: Bainbridge, Ryder (Sunderland)
Sent off: Ryder (Sunderland)
Referee: Daniel Middleton
Venue: Stadium of Light