Sunderland’s record signing Asamoah Gyan scored on his debut after coming on as a second-half substitute but saw Wigan grab a late equaliser in a drab 1-1 draw on Saturday.
Wigan’s Antolin Alcaraz got the leveller four minutes from time after 24-year-old Ghanaian World Cup star Gyan, a 13million pound signing on the closing day of the transfer window, had scored in the 66th minute.
Wigan, though, will be far from content as they showed little enterprise in front of goal despite playing for most of the match agaisnt 10 men after Sunderland’s repeat offender Lee Cattermole was sent-off.
Cattermole got his marching orders from referee Peter Walton in the 22nd minute for his second booking inside four minutes with the second one for a foul on Hugo Rodallega.
It was the fifth red card of his career and came only hours after he had given an interview saying that he had an ill-deserved hardman image.
If Walton hoped that his decisive dealing with Cattermole would inspire the other players to settle down he and the fans were to be disappointed as the first-half produced just three shots, two of which sailed harmlessly over the bar.
Both managers tried to shake things up at the beginning of the second-half as Sunderland boss Steve Bruce introduced Gyan for his debut in place of Danny Welbeck.
Bruce’s successor as Wigan manager Roberto Martinez sent on Charles N’Zogbia, the French midfielder having sat out the first-half on the bench following his proposed pre-transfer window closing move to Birmingham fell apart.
It was Gyan, though, who had the most impact as he broke the deadlock shooting home from inside the area after being set up by Jordan Henderson.
Gyan had certainly energised the visitors attack and went close in the 72nd minute with a shot from outside the area that went left of the goal.
Wigan had still to trouble the Sunderland goalkeeper despite their one man advantage and their six million pound summer signing Mauro Boselli’s total lack of confidence saw him miss with an easy header shortly before being replaced in the 74th minute.
However, Wigan somehow managed to find the resourcefulness to level as Alcaraz rose to head past Simon Mignolet with the cross supplied by Boselli’s replacement Tom Cleverley.
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