Middlesbrough reach the fourth round of the FA Cup after securing a 2-0 win over North-East rivals Sunderland in Saturday's third-round clash at the Riverside Stadium.
Middlesbrough have reached the fourth round of the FA Cup after securing a 2-0 win over North-East rivals Sunderland in Saturday's third-round clash at the Riverside Stadium.
Rudy Gestede opened the scoring in the 10th minute after being played in by a perfectly-timed Adama Traore pass to slot the ball beyond the onrushing Jason Steele.
Boro, who dominated the game, then doubled their lead just before half time, Steele failing to deal properly with a Stewart Downing corner, leading to a prolonged goalmouth scramble.
Although Ryan Shotton was unable to get a shot away, the ball broke kindly for Martin Braithwaite to roll home a simple finish, which led to many Black Cats fans heading for the exits.
Sunderland, however, came within inches of pulling a goal back after the restart, but Josh Maja's header at the near post from George Honeyman's corner came off the woodwork.
Chris Coleman's side would struggle to muster any more serious chances and nearly conceded a third moments later when Traore's shot was tipped around the post by Steele.
The visitors enjoyed a decent amount of possession in the second half but could not find a way back into the game as Boro ran out comfortable winners.
MIDDLESBROUGH (4-2-3-1): Randolph; Shotton, Ayala, Gibson, Friend (Christie 90'); Leadbitter, Howson; Traore (Johnson 81'), Downing, Braithwaite (Clayton 65'); Gestede.
SUNDERLAND (3-4-2-1): Steele; Jones, O'Shea, Browning; Love, Wilson, Robson (Embleton 81'), Oviedo; McManaman (Asoro 53'), Honeyman; Maja (Vaughan 73).
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