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Hull suffer Sunderland setback in quest to stay up

Kingston upon Hull (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Hull City’s hopes of Premier League survival took a dent and manager Marco Silva lost his proud unbeaten home record as they were stunned 2-0 by already relegated Sunderland on Saturday.

Silva was a surprise appointment when given the Hull job in January but the Portuguese has revived the side to give the Tigers hope of remaining in the English top flight.

Nevertheless, this loss left Hull only just above the relegation zone after goals from Billy Jones and Jermain Defoe ended Silva’s 41-match unbeaten home run, a sequence spanning three years and three clubs.

Prior to defeat Hull had won 19 points from a possible 21 under Silva at home.

But that counted for little on Saturday, with Sunderland’s pressure eventually rewarded when Jones headed home in the 69th minute before Defoe added a second goal in stoppage time to give Sunderland a first win since February.

David Moyes’ side started the stronger and George Honeyman should have done better than head an early Jones cross wide.

At the other end Sunderland goalkeeper Jordan Pickford had a fine match and made the first of several good saves when he repelled Sam Clucas’s 20th-minute strike.

After the break Hull’s Lazar Markovic had a penalty appeal turned down following an awkward challenge by Victor Anichebe and then Pickford made an excellent stop to deny Markovic, tipping the ball over the crossbar.

England striker Defoe went close before Sunderland broke the deadlock just over 20 minutes from time.

John O’Shea flicked on a Honeyman corner and Jones headed in.

Pickford preserved Sunderland’s lead with a point-blank save from Abel Hernandez. Hull could have equalised but Evandro dragged his shot wide.

After 90 minutes were up Hull conceded a second when Andrea Ranocchia was more concerned about appealing for offside than tracking Defoe and the veteran forward bundled the ball in from close range.

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