( dpa )- Kieran Richardson struck twice as Sunderland beat Portsmouth 2-0 Sunday to give their fans hope in their battle against relegation. Although they remain in the relegation zone, the victory lifts them level on points with three other teams, and a second successive home win dissipates the sense of mounting gloom. Richardson has started just five league games for Sunderland since his summer move from Manchester United because of a stress fracture of the back, but as a fortnight ago in the 3-1 win over Bolton Wanderers, he had a decisive impact. He got his first after 33 minutes, as Kenwyne Jones shrugged off Sol Campbell and cut a cross back for him to roll the ball past goalkeeper David James. Then 11 minutes later, Richardson added a second with a piece of brilliant opportunism, accelerating onto the loose ball after Daryl Murphy had held up Liam Miller's forward pass and clipping home a neat finish. He was a fraction from completing a hat-trick in the second half, a fearsome drive from just outside the box pinging back off the crossbar. Bolton Wanderers are level on points with Sunderland after they squandered a half-time lead to go down 2-1 at home to Blackburn. Kevin Nolan gave them the lead with a looping volley just before half-time, but Christopher Samba headed a second-half equalizer. And then, in the final minute, substitute Jason Roberts ran from half-way before firing in a deflected winner from the edge of the box.
Football-England: Richardson on target for Sunderland
13 January 2008 23:18 (UTC+04:00)