West Brom 2 Sunderland 2

Last updated : 20 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

Kevin Phillips rescued a point for Sunderland with a dramatic second-half double against relegation rivals West Brom at The Hawthorns.

Sunderland looked to be down and out when Albion raced into a two-goal lead after 32 minutes through former Sunderland striker Danny Dichio and midfielder Jason Koumas.

But Phillips, who had scored just one goal this season before tacking Albion, found his scoring touch again at the perfect time.

His heroics left Albion in the drop zone as they failed to capitalise on the fact that they scored more than once in a game for only the second time this season.

Albion were fortunate to still be on level terms when Dichio and Koumas struck within the space of six minutes.

Sunderland could easily have been two goals ahead themselves only to be frustrated by the woodwork and Albion goalkeeper, Russell Hoult.

Tore Andre Flo beat Hoult with a curling shot from the edge of the area after eight minutes but saw his effort crash to safety off the post.

Hoult then denied Sunderland the vital breakthrough 60 seconds later with a flying save to beat away a 20-yard drive from Gavin McCann.

Having weathered the early Sunderland storm, Albion then took control of affairs though Dichio and Koumas. They gave a sign of what was to come after 20 minutes when Sunderland goalkeeper Jurgen Macho had done well to save a 30-yard drive from Andy Johnson.

But Macho was powerless six minutes later when transfer-listed striker Dichio, making only his second Premiership start of the season, thundered home a close-range header from KoumasÂ’ corner.

Not to be outdone, Koumas then got his name on the scoresheet in the 32nd minute with his second goal in successive matches.

He left Macho flat-footed - scoring direct from a 20-yard free-kick after Albion striker Jason Roberts had been hauled down by George McCartney.

But any hopes that Albion had of cruising to victory were dashed 11 minutes into the second half when Sunderland secured a foothold back in the match.

Former Albion winger Kevin Kilbane forced the ball forward and Phillips managed to bustle his way through the defence before pushing the ball beyond Hoult.

Sunderland had sent on David Bellion at half -time as a replacement for McCartney and his arrival injected fresh purpose into the side.

But it was Phillips who was the hero for Sunderland when he completed their comeback after 64 minutes.

He collected the ball on the left wing and waltzed past the challenge of a quartet of Albion defenders before sliding a low 20-yard drive past Hoult.