Belfast Telegraph

Odemwingie steals show on debut

Peter Odemwingie scored a late goal on his debut to give West Brom a 1-0 win over Sunderland at the Hawthorns.

Odemwingie, whose transfer from Lokomotiv Moscow had only been confirmed 24 hours earlier, wasted little time in making a name for himself, taking on James Morrison's pass and slotting home the winner with nine minutes remaining.

It was a first Barclays Premier League victory of the season for Albion following their promotion from the Championship last season, with Roberto Di Matteo picking up three points for the first time as a top flight manager.

Having received international clearance to play, Nigeria forward Odemwingie was straight in the thick of the action, latching onto Chris Brunt's measured through-ball in the eighth minute and shooting narrowly wide.

Sunderland won a free-kick just outside the box, but former Baggies man Kieran Richardson could only curl it over the bar. The hosts' passing game was starting to come together and Jerome Thomas' cross just before the half-hour mark found Brunt, who couldn't get a shot away but teed up a rather wild effort from Marek Cech.

Albion supporters cried out for a penalty when they felt Jordan Henderson had handled, but referee Kevin Friend waved play on.

Cech sent in a cross that Brunt met with an acrobatic but off-target attempt.

Sunderland started the second half brighter, with Fraizer Campbell doing well to keep the ball in and hoisting a cross into the box which caused a scramble before Cech managed to clear.

Darren Bent then got his head to Henderson's free-kick, but could not guide his effort the right side of the post.

The Baggies finally made the breakthrough in the 81st minute, with Odemwingie bagging his debut goal after collecting the ball from Morrison, turning and sliding a low shot under Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mignolet.

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