They had further chances to double their lead and Jake Livermore saw a close-range effort saved by the keeper.
Here, Sports Mole takes a closer look at the events that unfolded at the KC Stadium.
On Target 5
On Target 3
Was the result fair?
Hull were the better side for most of the evening and they will be disappointed that they were not able to hold on and claim the three points. However, Sunderland must be given credit for their spirited fightback in the second half and Gus Poyet's substitutions made a real impact. In the circumstances both teams would have obviously preferred the three points to help them in their battle against relegation, but they have each moved a step closer away from the bottom three.
Hull City's performance
Hull made the perfect start to the match and within 15 minutes they had taken the lead when N'Doye showed a real moment of class to back-heel in Huddlestone's dangerous free kick. They looked the more likely side to score a second goal and had their chances to wrap up the points before conceding late on. Steve Bruce will surely complain that Rodwell touched the ball with his hand, but he must be pleased at the overall performance from his side, who were much improved from their poor showing at Stoke on Saturday.
It's no surprise to see how much Sunderland have struggled given their display tonight. They looked bereft of ideas in the final third and did not test Allan McGregor once in the first half. Their defensive frailties were also clear to see and they were caught out down the wings time and time again by Hull. After the break, they did manage to create some decent openings, but it wasn't until Van Aanholt came off the bench that things changed for them. The Dutchman added some much-needed width and it was his brilliant cross that led to the goal.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Dame N'Doye: The Senegal international had a great game this evening and he gave Hull the lead with a goal of real class. He showed some impressive touches throughout and was a handful for the visiting defence. It looks like his signing was an inspired piece of business by Bruce and he could very well be the key to survival for the Tigers.
Both goals today came as the result of decent attacking play rather than atrocious defending, but Hull will be criticised for failing to put Sunderland away. Rodwell had a great chance when he was found by Ahmed Elmohamady, but from just a few yards out he fired straight at the keeper. It was to be a crucial moment in the game, as just a few minutes later the visitors found the net.
Mike Dean had a busy evening and showed a total of eight yellow cards. One of those even sparked an angry reaction from Poyet, who was sent to the touchline after reacting furiously to Rodwell's booking for simulation. When the Uruguayan sees the replays he will realise that it was a deserved booking, as the midfielder went down very easily in an attempt to win a penalty. Rodwell was involved again later on, as he appeared to touch the ball with his hand for the equaliser, but it was an extremely hard spot for the referee, who couldn't possibly have seen the incident from where he was standing.
Hull City: The Tigers are up against bottom-of-the-league Leicester City next Saturday.
Sunderland: The Black Cats will also have to wait until next Saturday for their clash against relegation rivals Aston Villa.