Jozy Altidore had the first effort of the afternoon but scuffed his shot wide of the goal.
There was little else in the way of goalmouth action during the early stages as both teams kept it tight.
However, Hull then took the lead through a Carlos Cuellar own goal. Liam Rosenior delivered the ball into the box and the Sunderland defender headed into his own net under pressure from Yannick Sagbo.
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The away side responded with a short spell of pressure, but failed to carve out any openings.
Sagbo's deflected shot almost extended Hull's lead.
However, Sunderland then found themselves down to nine men as Cattermole and Dossenna were sent off.