Lynden Gooch has delivered some top performances of late for Sunderland and that trend continued Friday as the Black Cats took a major step towards automatic promotion from League One.
Gooch scored his fourth league goal of the season before setting up the eventual winner in a 3-1 victory over Oxford United. Sunderland moved to within two points of second place Peterborough United in the standings with Friday’s win. Sunderland faces Peterborough next week.
The Black Cats had to play catch up after James Henry’s first-half opener for the visitors, but Gooch was in the right spot before halftime to equalize. Jordan Jones’ good work on the right wing eventually saw a low cross from the winger hammered home by Gooch.
The Black Cats would continue to pile on the pressure late at the Stadium of Light and Gooch played a vital role in the game-winning goal. His work on the right wing in the 81st minute eventually saw a pull back cross finished by veteran Aiden McGeady for a 2-1 Sunderland lead.
Max Power would added an insurance goal in stoppage time to cap off the 3-1 comeback victory.
Gooch went the distance for Lee Johnson’s squad, completing one dribble, 74% of his passes, and scoring on his lone shot on goal. It was a strong outing from the California native, who recently helped Sunderland win the EFL Trophy at Wembley Stadium prior to the international break.
Sunderland now moves up to 70 points this season through 37 matches, two points back of Peterborough and three points out of leaders Hull City. The Black Cats will next travel to Peterborough on Monday before eight more matches this season.
Gooch has been with Sunderland since its days in the Premier League and a strong finish to the current season could see the Black Cats move one step closer to a return in the near future.