Sunderland overcame a disastrous start to the new Championship campaign by coming from behind to draw 1-1 with Derby County at the Stadium of Light.
The hosts carried the weight of Premier League relegation into the opening night of the season and fell behind after 11 minutes, but they recovered to earn a point courtesy of Lewis Grabban's penalty late in the first half.
The point looked unlikely when Bradley Johnson put Derby in front, the midfielder side-footing home from close range after Johnny Russell's byline cutback found its way through a sea of bodies.
Sunderland improved and went close on a couple of occasions before being awarded a penalty just prior to the break when a stumbling Jacob Butterfield handled in the area.
Grabban coolly slotted home the resultant spot-kick to make it 1-1 and that is how it ended, although Derby could well have left with all three points had Chris Martin not skied a gilt-edged chance in the 73rd minute.
FULL TIME: It ends all square . A point on the board for , who are unlucky not to take all three.Well played, Lads August 4, 2017
The draw means Nottingham Forest - with the rest of the league playing on Saturday and Sunday - temporarily top the Championship following their narrow 1-0 win over Millwall.
Barrie McKay's 41st-minute goal gave the home side the perfect start to the season following their near-relegation last term.
Promoted Millwall twice tested the woodwork during the first half and wasted several more chances prior to McKay's debut goal, the former Rangers winger fizzing home a fine strike from outside the area.
Steve Morison also had a goal ruled out for a foul with 15 minutes remaining as Forest held on for a confidence-boosting three points.
celebrates opening the scoring for against in front of a sell-out crowd at The City Ground this evening. August 4, 2017
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