PORTSMOUTH, May 19 – Sunderland threw away the lead and lost 3-1 at Portsmouth on Monday to stay in danger of relegation from the Premier League.Although Kenwyne Jones gave the Black Cats a 59th minute lead, John Utaka drew even a minute later. An own goal by Sunderland defender Phil Bardsley and Armand Traore’s late goal cemented Portsmouth’s victory.
The loss left Sunderland with 36 points in 16th place, with only two points more than 18th place Newcastle. Last place West Bromwich Albion is already sure to go down and next-to-last Middlesbrough has to win its final game and hope that Hull, in 17th place, loses heavily.
Portsmouth striker Peter Crouch headed against the post after only four minutes at Fratton Park. But Jones almost captured the lead for Sunderland just before halftime with a glancing header that hit the inside of the post.
Sunderland went in front when defender Calum Davenport moved upfield and crossed for Jones to shoot home with a first time drive.
But the home side was even within a minute when a header by Crouch bounced off Grant Leadbitter and the ball rolled to Utaka who shot home.
Seven minutes later, Sunderland defender Anton Ferdinand failed to deal with a long ball and Utaka got clear. The striker beat goalkeeper Marton Fulop and defender Phil Bardsley, trying to clear the ball, could only turn the it into his own net.
Traore added the third goal with two minutes remaining.