Football: Phillips snares Wolves

Wolves 1 Keane 68 Sunderland 1 Phillips 90 Attendance: 26,816
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The Independent Online
THE PREDATORY instincts of Kevin Phillips which have already wiped out Brian Clough's Sunderland goal-scoring feats, snatched a point in injury time after Wolves had dominated for long spells and, with more composure in front of goal, should have had the outcome well beyond recall.

Wolves had laboured long and hard against a stubborn Sunderland defence who had their backs to the wall for most of the game. The deadlock was not broken until the 68th minute when Michael Gray fluffed a clearance and presented Robbie Keane with an open goal. Keane, the latest on top Premiership clubs' "wanted" lists, had had a quiet afternoon, crowded out in a packed midfield. For once, he was in the right place at the right time.

While their visitors were acclimatising, Wolves went at them with a vengeance and should have scored as early as the second minute when Steve Bull blasted Steve Froggatt's cross over Thomas Sorensen's crossbar from point-blank range. Ten minutes later the striker just failed to get his head to Kevin Muscat's cross and another chance went begging.

Sunderland had been thrown off balance by the ferocity of Wolves' opening and the only reply they could muster was a 20-yard shot by Phillips which Mike Stowell allowed to jump out of his grasp but saved at the second attempt.

It was touch and go whether Sunderland could make it to half time without buckling - and they were not helped when Paul Butler was booked for a crude foul on Bull.

Froggatt had become more influential as the game progressed and it was his clever through ball that set up Keane's goal. Bull almost brought a second with a typically thunderous 25 yarder but it was inches over Sorensen's crossbar.

Then, with the seconds ticking away, the visitors found a second wind. Stowell had to pull off saves from a Daniele Dichio shot and header and had his share of luck when Phillips' shot was deflected. But the little striker still did the damage, driving the equaliser home after Kevin Ball had hit the crossbar.