LEAGUE ONE Plymouth Argyle 1 Sunderland 3

Lee Johnson’s Sunderland secured a League One play-off place following a 3-1 win at Plymouth.

Lynden Gooch – a thorn in Plymouth’s side throughout – set up both of Sunderland’s late goals.

He won a controverisal 84th minute spot kick, converted by substitute Chris Maguire, following a foul by Ryan Law, who tangled with Gooch outside the penalty area.

Referee James Bell initially awarded a free kick but changed his decision following a discussion with an assistant.  

In stoppage time Gooch's stinging shot was well saved by substitute keeper Luke McCormick but Denver Hume followed in to add gloss to the result.

Sunderland had taken a 21st minute lead. Striker Ross Stewart raced away from the halfway line to collect Gooch’s incisive pass and coolly slot home into the far corner past Plymouth keeper Michael Cooper, who has just committed to Argyle on a new three-year deal until 2024.

Plymouth skipper Joe Edwards celebrated winning Argyle player of the year award by levelling with a 63rd minute far post header to greet Conor Grant’s cross as the greens got back into the game.

Argyle’s joy – and ascendancy – was short lived as the home side were reduced to 10 a minute later when central defender Jerome Opoku received a second caution, in 10 minutes.

Gooch was unlucky not to double Sunderland’s first half tally as his stoppage time 20 yarder spun off the outside of the post.

On 40 minutes Sunderland skipper Max Power fired just wide from a Jordan Jones corner as the Black Cats went in search of a second goal.

Argyle responded with playmaker Danny Mayor forcing a low one-handed save from Lee Burge as he met Pauntche Camara’s far post cross with a first-time volley.

Sunderland hit the woodwork three times in the game. Maguire’s free kick and Stewart’s header both came off the bar in the second half before their two late goals sealed victory.

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