FULL TIME: CD Nacional 1 Sunderland 0: Last-gasp agony hits Cats

Sunderland debutant Patrick van Aanholt takes on Portuguese club CD Nacional in Portugal tonight. Picture by Ian Horrocks
Sunderland debutant Patrick van Aanholt takes on Portuguese club CD Nacional in Portugal tonight. Picture by Ian Horrocks

SUNDERLAND’S 100 per cent record during pre-season came to an end after a last-gasp defeat against Portugese outfit CD Nacional.

The Black Cats had been the better side at the Albufeira Stadium, yet couldn’t find the breakthrough here on the Algarve in a game where clear-cut chances were at a premium.

Connor Wickham and Billy Jones came closest for Sunderland, when both saw efforts saved during the opening 45 minutes.

And then with a minute to go, Nacional snatched victory when Lucas volleyed home to end a run of four successive friendly wins for the Black Cats.

New signing Patrick van Aanholt made his first appearance for Sunderland, as Gus Poyet named his strongest side yet during pre-season.

Connor Wickham was used on the left flank, with Adam Johnson on the right and Jordi Gomez, Emanuele Giaccherini and Lee Cattermole forming the midfield trio.

Wickham produced the first effort on goal in the 14th minute after Johnson did well to thread the ball to the overlapping Billy Jones down the right.

Jones’ cross found Wickham at the far post, but he could only head harmlessly at keeper Gottardi from 10 yards.

The right-back went close himself in the 23rd minute after Johnson burst down the outside of the Nacional left-back before pulling the ball back from the right-hand by-line.

Jones managed to get an angled right-footed shot away, but Gottardi blocked before the Nacional defence scrambled the ball away.

Jordi Gomez produced a decent long-range left-footed effort from the left of goal in the 34th minute, which cleared the crossbar by a couple of feet.

Three minutes before the break, Steven Fletcher sent Wickham through on goal with an excellent slide-rule pass.

Wickham hit a left-footed shot towards the far corner which was pushed behind by Gottardi.

From Johnson’s resulting corner, an off-balance Wes Brown sent his header over the top.

HALF-TIME Sunderland 0 CD Nacional 0

Five minutes after the break, Johnson sent Wickham away in behind the Nacional defence, but the striker’s pull-back from the right was cleared inside the six-yard box, when he could have a shot himself.

On the hour mark, Rondon found striker Suk Hyun-jun down the right-hand channel, but he lashed a shot harmlessly into the side netting.

Cattermole then came off after a nasty rake of the calf from Nacional midfielder Joao Aurelio left the Teessider struggling.

Left winger Camacho got the wrong side of makeshift right-back Charis Mavrias in the 66th minute and made his way to the left-hand by-line.

He fired a cross-come-shot at goal which Costel Pantilimon beat behind in his first meaningful contribution of the game.

With a minute to go, Nacional snatched victory when Sequeira delivered a cross from the left and Lucas beat Pantilimon on the volley.

FULL-TIME Sunderland 0 CD Nacional 1

SUNDERLAND: Pantilimon, Jones (Mavrias 46), O’Shea, Brown, van Aanholt (Roberge 82), Cattermole (Bridcutt 61), Gomez, Giaccherini (Ba 80), Johnson (N’Diaye 75), Fletcher, Wickham. Sub not used: Mannone.

CD NACIONAL: Gottardi, Zainadine, Miguel, Ezzat, Marcal, Aly Ghazal, Ayala, Gomaa, Mario Rondon, Suk, Marco Matia.