Tue, Oct 23, 2007 - Page 19 News List

West Ham ride luck to beat Black Cats

AFP , LONDON

Sunderland's Craig Gordon, center, holds his head in his hands following an unfortunate own goal, as West Ham debutant Norberto Solano, right, celebrates during their English Premier League soccer match in London on Sunday.

PHOTO: EPA

West Ham rode their luck to beat Sunderland 3-1 on Sunday thanks in large part to a freak own-goal by goalkeeper Craig Gordon.

A hard-fought match looked to be turning in Sunderland's favor when Kenwyne Jones canceled out Carlton Cole's first-half strike.

Then, with time running out at Upton Park, Nolberto Solano's shot struck a post and then rebounded into the net off Gordon, who was lying prone after his attempted save.

Alan Curbishley and his players won't care how the win came as they ended a run of three league defeats.

But it was cruel in the extreme on Sunderland, who were the better side after Jones's goal, but saw Craig Bellamy rub salt into their wounds with a stoppage time strike to seal the points.

Roy Keane's side have now gone four matches without a win and are in danger of sinking into the relegation zone.

Curbishley admitted the result was harsh on Sunderland.

"I think it flattered us but we'll take that because there will be another time when we have the lion's share of the game and come out with nothing," he said.

Keane was more disappointed by his side's defending than the fluke own-goal.

"To say I'm annoyed would be an understatement. We deserved something from the game but we gave away a couple of sloppy goals and were punished," Keane said.

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