Lynden Gooch finally ended Reggie Lambe and his Carlisle United teammates brave defiance 10 minutes from time and earned Sunderland a 2-1 victory in a thrilling Second Round Carabao Cup tie at Brunton Park.
Donald Love's first-half strike for Sunderland was cancelled out after the break when Danny Grainger followed up his own penalty to equalize, before Gooch's decisive late intervention, Sunderland twice had cause to thank debutant goalkeeper Robbin Ruiter for crucial saves as first Nicky Adams powered in an effort which the Dutch stopper blocked with his legs, then Jamie Devitt's volley was heading for the top corner until Ruiter got his fingertips to the ball to divert it over the bar. Sunderland made the breakthrough in the 24th minute when Gooch's low cross from the left was drilled home from 12 yards by Love.
Wahbi Khazri and Gooch kept home goalkeeper Jack Bonham fully occupied and the shot-stopper again came to Carlisle's rescue on the half-hour to deny Joel Asoro in a one-on-one situation.
Lambe slammed his shot against the post after a neat Carlisle move down the left.
Carlisle drew level after an hour when Richie Bennett was bundled over by Papy Djilobodji. Although Ruiter pulled off a fine save to stop Grainger's penalty, the Cumbrians' skipper followed up to slot in the rebound.
Sunderland introduced substitutes Aiden McGeady and James Vaughan in a show of intent and scored the winner in the 80th minute, Gooch cutting in from the right of the box and firing a low shot inside Bonham's right-hand post.