Football: Sunderland's costly errors

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The Independent Online
Blunders by Lionel Perez and Jody Craddock saw Sunderland's 16- game unbeaten run in the First Division One come to an end with a 2-1 defeat against Norwich at Carrow Road last night.

Perez, the goalkeeper, made a mess of a 32nd-minute clearance, kicking the ball straight to Darren Eadie, who lofted a shot into an unguarded net from 35 yards to open the scoring. The contest was settled just past the hour when Craddock, under pressure to clear an cross by Erik Fuglestad, turned the ball into his own net from close range with his knee.

Those two acts of Sunderland generosity were enough to give Norwich a second successive home win against high flyers - they beat Nottingham Forest 11 days ago - and the double over a side they also beat in August. Lee Clark pulled a goal back late on with a 25-yard drive.

The Swindon defender Mark Robinson scored his first goal of the season to give his side their first victory in nine matches, 1-0 over Stoke, and hand Chris Kamara a losing debut as Stoke's manager. Robinson struck from the edge of the area in the 71st minute after pouncing on a mistake Kofi Nyamah.

Second-half goals by Fabrizio Ravanelli, Alessandro Del Piero and Roberto Di Matteo gave Italy a 3-0 victory over Slovakia in a friendly match in Catania, Sicily, yesterday.The Italians picked up after the interval following a first half marked by missed chances, poor midfield play and a slow rhythm.

Zinedine Zidane gave France victory over Spain last night in a friendly that marked the inauguration of the Stade de France, which will host the World Cup final in July. A sell-out 80,000 crowd, a record for a match in France, packed into the new stadium which is situated in a Paris suburb.

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