AMSTERDAM – Jozy Altidore went the distance as Sunderland rallied from two down in the waning moments for a 2-2 share at Cardiff City on Saturday.
It was an up-and-down shift for the US striker, who came up empty on three chances to remain goalless from his last five appearances across all competitions. Altidore failed to get a hard-carom rebound on goal in the first half, before watching a glancing header miss the target and his drive at the end of a strong dribble across the top of the box deflected harmlessly into the Cardiff netminder's gloves.
However, the No. 17 shirt made some key attacking passes down the stretch as Sunderland drew level through a fine Steven Fletcher goal seven minutes from time and a Jack Colback strike in the final seconds of stoppage time. Now unbeaten in five games across all competitions, basement dwellers Sunderland inched to within two points of the safety zone.
In the Saturday's earlier action, Brad Guzan and Aston Villa were forced to settle for a 1-1 home draw with Swansea City.
The US international worked a strong shift, with the best of his two saves denying a long free kick from Man of the Match Jonathan de Guzman not long after intermission. Guzan also managed to get a paw on Roland Lamah's 36th-minute equalizer, but could not keep out the back-post header.
The result, which halted Villa's four-game losing streak, kept the hosts in 13th place.