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Sunderland hit back to beat Luton in playoff 1st leg

Ian Horrocks / Sunderland AFC / Getty

Trai Hume inspired Sunderland's fightback to beat Luton 2-1 in the Championship play-off semi-final first leg on Saturday.

Hume's second-half goal completed Sunderland's revival after Amad Diallo had cancelled out Elijah Adebayo's early opener at the Stadium of Light.

Tony Mowbray's side remain on course for a second successive promotion after going up via the League One play-offs last season.

Sunderland, who last played in the Premier League in 2017, only scrambled into the play-offs on the last day of the season when they won 3-0 at Preston, while Millwall lost 4-3 to Blackburn.

Third-placed Luton, who finished 11 points ahead of sixth-placed Sunderland, will hope to overturn the slender deficit at Kenilworth Road on Tuesday.

Luton, beaten in the play-off semi-finals by Huddersfield last season, haven't played in the top flight since 1992.

The Hatters were fortunate to escape early on when keeper Ethan Horvath palmed Patrick Roberts' curling attempt into the path of Joe Gelhardt, who was unable to adjust his feet quickly enough to convert the rebound.

They took advantage of the escape when Sunderland failed to deal with an 11th-minute corner.

After Anthony Patterson had blocked Alfie Doughty's shot, Adebayo pounced on the loose ball to fire home.

But Sunderland were back in it six minutes before the break when Alex Pritchard rolled a free-kick to Diallo and the on-loan Manchester United midfielder curled an unstoppable shot past Horvath.

In a tense second half, Sunderland finally summoned up the quality to take the lead in the 63rd minute.

Hume met Jack Clarke's cross with a firm header into the bottom corner to spark delirious celebrations among the 46,060 crowd.

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