Wigan snatches draw with 10-man Sunderland
A late equalizer from Antolin Alcaraz earned Wigan a 1-1 draw against 10-man Sunderland and took the shine off a scoring debut for Asamoah Gyan in the Premier League on Saturday.
Sunderland was made to battle against the odds from the 22nd minute when midfielder Lee Cattermole was red-carded on his first return to DW Stadium since leaving Wigan for Sunderland in 2009 after two poor challenges brought him as many bookings.
It was Cattermole's second sending off in three league games, following his dismissal against Birmingham on the opening day of the season, and his third since joining Sunderland.
''The one thing he has got to learn is that once you have got a yellow card, you simply can't go to ground,'' Sunderland manager Steve Bruce said. ''He has made a genuine attempt for the ball, he has mis-timed it and he has got to learn that. ''I've got no excuses for him. It was two yellow cards, simple as that.
''It has happened twice in a month, which is not healthy, not for him or the team. He has to learn from it and we will be having conversations with him. He is inconsolable and he knows, but it's when he's out there that he has got to know.''
But Ghana striker Gyan, who joined from French club Rennes last month for a club record transfer fee in excess of 13 million pounds ($20 million), came on as a substitute to volley home in the 66th minute from Jordan Henderson's cross.
The goal came against the run of play, and Gyan looked to double his tally and the visitors' lead moments later with an attempt that went well wide.
''He has got a great attitude for it and he'll be fine,'' Bruce said of Gyan. ''He's made a wonderful start, which obviously will help him - to get a goal on your debut is terrific. It's just a shame we didn't hang on to win it.''
Wigan manager Roberto Martinez introduced Tom Cleverley in a bid to save the game, and the on-loan Manchester United youngster made a telling contribution as Wigan drew level.
His fierce drive was met by Alcaraz, whose header slipped over the line as the three points slipped from Sunderland's grasp.
Wigan had started the day without a goal or a point at home after being hammered 4-0 by Blackpool and 6-0 by Chelsea.
''I think we showed signs of a team that is slowly gelling together with many new faces,'' Martinez told the Press Association. ''I am extremely delighted with the reaction we had in the second half and the way we worked as a team. We were a little bit frustrated and not as fluid as we should have been.
''But to get back into a game when you are 1-0 down is the hardest thing in football. I was extremely proud at the manner we approached the game and a draw is the least reward we deserved.''