Robbin Ruiter helps Sunderland edge out Stoke City in Checkatrade Trophy penalty shootout win
Robbin Ruiter was the penalty hero as Sunderland claimed two points from their opening Checkatrade Trophy outing against Stoke City U21s.
The stopper pulled off two fine penalty saves to secure a bonus point for the Black Cats after a goalless draw against the Potters' youngsters.
But Sunderland will be left wondering how they couldn't claim all three points after a dominant performance.
Jack Ross made eight changes to the side that drew with Oxford, handing first competitive starts to Charlie Wyke, Tom Flanagan and Dylan McGeouch in an attack-minded side.
And Sunderland stamped their attacking authority on the game from the off, with Josh Maja going on a mazy run straight from kick-off before bending a shot high and wide.
Chris Maguire then saw a free-kick drop just over the bar as the Black Cats started on the front foot - although they almost fell behind in bizarre circumstances as a Stoke free-kick took
several deflections before flashing wide of Robbin Ruiter's near post.
The hosts then had half-hearted penalty appeals turned down when Maguire went down in the area as they continued to enjoy the lions share of possession.
Indeed, the best chance of the opening period fell to Sunderland and Maja, whose curling effort was acrobatically tipped over by Stoke stopper Daniel Gyollai as it looked bound for the top corner.
Chances to continued to be at a premium in the second half, with ex-Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam firing over for the visitors in a rare sight of goal before Hume saw a mazy run halted
as he looked to pull the trigger in the area.
Hume continued to pose a threat as he pushed high up the field, with the full-back seeing a long-range effort palmed wide by Gyollai only moments later as Sunderland pushed forward.
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And the Black Cats should have taken the lead late in the clash as they spurred two golden chances in a matter of minutes.
First, Maguire saw a curling free-kick come back off the crossbar with the Stoke stopper beaten - with nobody able to turn home the rebound.
Then just moments later, a Hume cross picked out substitute Benji Kimpioka who somehow managed to spoon over from four yards out with the goal gaping.
There was to be no breakthrough in the regulation time though, meaning that both teams pocketed a point with penalties then deciding the winners of a bonus point.
And it was Ruitter who ensured the bonus point for the Black Cats, saving from Tyrese Campbell and Harry Souttar - leaving Hume to convert the winning penalty for the hosts.
Sunderland XI: Ruiter; Hume, James, Ozturk, Flanagan; McGeouch, O'Nien, Robson; Maja (Sinclair 65), Wyke (Kimpioka 75), Maguire (Molyneux 78)
Subs not used: Stryjek, Love, Taylor, Hackett
Stoke City XI: Gyollai, Bauer, Collins, Soutar, Tymon, Adam (Waddington 65), Sorensen, Shenton, Pemberton (Szerto 85), Campbell, Jarvis
Subs not used: Deczki,, Butler, Forrester, Thandi, Kyeremateng
Referee: Me K Mulraine