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Sunderland beat Norwich to keep playoff hopes alive

Stephen Pond / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Sunderland kept alive their hopes of reaching the Championship play-off with a 1-0 win against top-six contenders Norwich on Sunday.

Abdoullah Ba's 15th-minute goal settled the clash at Carrow Road, leaving Sunderland five points off the play-off spots.

It was the perfect response from Tony Mowbray's side, who had suffered an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat to Stoke in their previous match.

Seventh placed Norwich, who would have gone back into the play-off places with a win, dominated for long spells but struggled to create clear-cut openings

The Canaries paid the price for poor defending that allowed Joe Gelhardt to slide in a pass to Ba.

The French midfielder burst forward and beat Norwich keeper Angus Gunn with a well-struck shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

David Wagner's side laid siege to the Sunderland goal in the latter stages but could find no way through a well-drilled defence.

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