Sunderland Stage Comeback Against Luton Thanks To Amad Diallo Wondergoal

Sunderland beat Luton Town 2-1 at the Stadium of Light
19:33, 13 May 2023

An Amad Diallo wondergoal helped Sunderland to a 2-1 win in the first leg of their play-off semi-final against Luton Town. The Hatters might have taken the lead, and finished third in the league, but they were overturned by Tony Mowbray’s exciting and exuberant Black Cats. 

It’s a result that looked so unlikely after the opening 25 minutes. 

Elijah Adebayo gave Luton an early lead as Sunderland failed to clear the corner and although Anthony Patterson came up with a big save from Tom Lockyer, Adebayo was there to fire home from close range. Sunderland missed their towering first choice centre-halves and were being bullied from open play and set pieces, as the yellow cards racked up for both teams. 


However, despite their lack of physicality, Sunderland do possess a special weapon. Amad Diallo. Alex Pritchard teed him up from a free-kick and the Manchester United loanee produced a moment of magic just as he did last weekend, curling the ball into the top left corner. He has produced so many moments of magic this season but this was his most important contribution to the cause so far. 

Somehow, Tony Mowbray’s men who had looked second best for the opening half an hour, were back level. In that opening period, Luton looked a foot taller than their hosts, they were more powerful, more intense in their work. Yet Sunderland creative talents were able to get into the game and start to show their talents. 

Amad’s goal didn’t just bring the scores level, but it got the crowd back onside. They’d begun to get frustrated at the way Luton were able to overpower their side, yet with the scores level, they made their voices heard. Rob Edwards’ men have been so defensively sound this year that it was a surprise to see them concede again. 

However, they’ve lost 27 points from winning positions this term and this one slipped away from them in the most unlikely fashion. Jack Clarke created a yard of space on the left wing and then swung in a wonderful cross that was headed home by stand-in centre-back Trai Hume. 

The celebrations were immense and Sunderland had managed to complete a turnaround that looked so unlikely in the first half. This is what the play-offs can do, and what Mowbray’s men have done so well this season. They've got the attacking talent to score goals, and now they can take a one goal lead to Kenilworth Road that they can attempt to defend. 

Luton have been so good this season, finishing on 80 points, but now they need to score. The opening half an hour of this game looked like men against boys. But the boys are back in town and Sunderland matured hugely over this 90 minutes. Their youthful attackers have enough to make up for their makeshift defence, and Sunderland will go down south with a major chance of making it to Wembley. They may have only got out of League One this time last year, but they must strike while the iron is hot. It's never too soon to get to the Premier League. 

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