Memorable moments at the Stadium of Light

Albion players celebrate scoring at Sunderland

Albion head to the Stadium of Light on Monday night for the first time in over six years as they make their long-awaited return to Sky Bet Championship action with a clash against Sunderland (ko 8pm).

Carlos Corberán’s men went into the FIFA World Cup break in impressive form, winning three games on the bounce and keeping three clean sheets in the process. 

The Baggies will be hoping to extend both of those runs to four up on Wearside, a place where they’ve enjoyed some thrilling moments in years gone by.

We’ve picked out some of the best Albion away days at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light.

Sunderland 1-2 Albion

FA Cup. January 2002

The Baggies of Division One earned an impressive third-round victory away at Premiership Sunderland in January 2002.

Kevin Phillips gave the hosts the lead with an emphatic finish after just 12 minutes, but Albion hit back and equalised from the spot when Neil Clement crashed the ball beyond the reach of Thomas Sorensen. 

And Gary Megson’s men completed the cup comeback early on in the second half courtesy of Andy Johnson’s precise header following great work by Jason Roberts down the left.

The Baggies would go on to enjoy a run to last eight that season, defeating Leicester City and Cheltenham Town on home soil before being beaten at The Hawthorns by Fulham. 

Sunderland 0-1 Albion

Division One. April 2004

Not just one of our most iconic away days at the Stadium of Light, but arguably one of our most iconic away days ever.

Sunday, April 18 2004. A famous date in the Albion history calendar. 

Gary Megson's side knew a victory at fellow automatic promotion chasers Sunderland would all but seal promotion back to the top flight at the first time of asking, leaving them needing just four points from their final four matches. 

The hosts had a number of good chances but the Baggies stood strong at the back. The game looked to be heading for a goalless draw, until. 

The Baggies won the ball in their own penalty area and Lloyd Dyer was set free down the left channel. He raced all the way down to the opposite end of the pitch and played the ball into the feet of Jason Koumas, who took one touch inside the box before burying it into the bottom corner with virtually the last kick of the encounter. 

The goal sparked jubilant scenes among the travelling supporters as Albion took a decisive step towards promotion.

Sunderland 2-3 Albion

Premier League. April 2011

Albion claimed three big Premier League points by winning a five-goal thriller up on Wearside towards the end of the 2010/11 campaign. 

The Black Cats took an early lead when defender Nicky Shorey headed past Scott Carson into his own net, but the Baggies drew level thanks to a simple Peter Odemwingie finish from the edge of the six-yard box. 

Sunderland restored their advantage just two minutes after the Nigerian’s equaliser though and in some style too – Phil Bardsley sending a rocket from range into the top corner. 

A deflected right-footed strike from Youssouf Mulumbu made it 2-2 less than ten minutes into the second period, but the visitors weren’t done there.

Roy Hodgson’s team kept pushing for a winner and it finally arrived after 72 minutes when Austrian midfielder Paul Scharner tucked the ball in at the near post after meeting Odemwingie’s pass from the right.

The victory took Albion up to 10th in the table, seven clear of the drop with six Premier League matches remaining. The club would go on to finish the season in 11th place. 

Sunderland 2-4 Albion

Premier League. November 2012

Albion shot up to third in the Premier League thanks to a superb 4-2 win at the Stadium of Light in November 2012.

Zoltan Gera’s cracking curler put the Baggies ahead, and when Sunderland stopper Simon Mignolet dropped the ball inside the penalty area, striker Shane Long had the simplest of tasks to make it 2-0.

Craig Gardner beat Boaz Myhill with a free-kick with a little over 15 minutes remaining to get the hosts back into the contest, but Albion would soon restore their two-goal advantage.

Liam Ridgewell was fouled inside the box by Adam Johnson and Romelu Lukaku slotted the resulting spot-kick into the bottom corner.

Stephane Sessegnon’s close-range effort pulled one back for the Black Cats, but the Baggies sealed all three points in the final moments when Marc-Antoine Fortune shifted the ball onto his right foot and placed it into the far corner. 

The result ensured Albion won four successive top-flight matches for the first time since 1980.