West Brom’s substitutes came up trumps, as second-half goals from Tom Rogic and Daryl Dike secured a 2-1 victory over Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
The Black Cats took a first-half lead when Amad Diallo scored from the penalty spot, but Baggies manager Carlos Corberan made a number of second-half substitutions, including Rogic and Dike, in an attempt to reverse things.
Rogic equalized from the edge of the box, and Dike headed home a West Brom winner from Jed Wallace’s 83rd-minute cross.
Sunderland had already won their first post-World Cup game, defeating Millwall nine days earlier, and the hosts started confidently.
They were ahead inside the opening 20 minutes, with Amad claiming his fifth goal in the last seven matches from the spot.
The Manchester United loanee won the spot-kick himself via a slick one-two with Luke O’Nien that created space in the area and resulted in West Brom full-back Conor Townsend bundling him over from behind.
With Sunderland’s regular penalty taker, Ross Stewart, still feeling his way back from a long-term injury, Amad stepped up to confidently stroke his effort into the bottom corner.
The Black Cats almost scored a second two minutes after breaking the deadlock, but, while Ellis Simms’ flick released Alex Pritchard into the penalty area, Baggies goalkeeper Alex Palmer was off his line quickly to save the midfielder’s shot.
West Brom had not created a chance at that stage, but the visitors thought they should have been playing against 10 men shortly after the half-hour mark.
Danny Batth conceded possession to John Swift deep inside his own half and reacted by pulling back the Baggies forward to prevent him from being able to break clear.
Swift and his team-mates demanded a straight red card, but referee James Linington instead opted to show a yellow.
The visitors continued to press after the interval and came close to claiming an equaliser eight minutes into the second half.
Matty Phillips met Swift’s low cross from the right-hand side with a first-time effort from the edge of the six-yard box, but Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson denied him with a point-blank save.
West Brom were the dominant side in terms of possession for the much of the second half, but, while Townsend burst on to a loose ball after O’Nien cut out a through pass, he fired a first-time effort wide.
Patterson tipped Rogic’s long-range strike over the crossbar as the Baggies continued to press, but the Sunderland goalkeeper was unable to prevent the equaliser with 20 minutes left.
Wallace’s cross was cleared into Rogic’s path and the Australian prodded home a first-time effort from the edge of the 18-yard box.
West Brom scored their second with seven minutes left thanks to another of their substitutes.
Wallace swung over a cross from close to the right touchline and the onrushing Dike powerfully headed home.