Sunderland went goal crazy at Terryland Park defeating a Galway United outfit, who had one eye on Friday’s critical contest with Waterford United.

In a lively opening period Michael Chopra bagged the only goal after six minutes when expertly finishing a sweet move which featured Daryl Murphy and the dynamic Dickson Ethuhu.

A flurry of Sunderland chances followed, but Galway United custodian Gary Rogers was safe and solid.

As the half evolved Galway improved and Shaun Fagan drilled a low free kick wide as the home side eventually settled.

There was a surprising edge to the first half as both outfit’s thundered into the challenges.

Three players were cautioned, Fagan from Galway and Sunderland duo Anthony Stokes and Kieran Richardson were also yellow carded during a frenetic spell before the interval.

It was calmer in the third quarter and Richardson reminded the audience of his pedigree with a splendid second on 56 minutes.

Dean Whitehead located Richardson who darted into space before drilling an opportunistic shot past substitute Galway goalkeeper Alan Gough.

Galway created chances of their own, with replacements John Russell and Vinny Faherty both going close.

But Sunderland regrouped with late goals from David Connolly and Stern John embellishing the success.