Sunderland had the first half chance of the game on 3 minutes after Borini headed back across goal but Defoe’s shot blazed over from 10 yards.
Newcastle had their first opportunity on 7 mins when Townsend was allowed to cross for Mitrovic but he fired over from a central position.
The game was frantic in the early stages and Sunderland nearly broke the deadlock on 9 minutes after Khazri’s free kick found Rodwell but his goalbound header was tipped over by Elliot.
Sunderland created another opening on 18 minutes when nice play between Khazri and Rodwell allowed the Englishman to cut the ball back for Defoe but the striker’s shot hit the side netting.
Sunderland broke the deadlock on 44 minutes through Jermain Defoe. Khazri passed the corner to Borini whose shot was saved by Elliot sending the ball into the air to Defoe who volleyed home to put the Black Cats in front.
Newcastle nearly found an equiliser two minutes into the second half after Townsend’s corner caused havoc in the Sunderland box and M’Vila had to clear Perez’s effort off the line.
Sunderland looked a bit shaky in the opening stages of the second half but they could have doubled their lead on 57 minutes. Great persistence from Khazri set up Van Aanholt but his thunderous shot was well saved by Elliot.
Newcastle found an equaliser on 83 mins after Mitrovic headed in Wijnaldum’s stand up cross at the back post.
Newcastle United: Elliot, Janmaat (Anita 71’), Mbemba, Lascelles, Colback (De Jong 62’), Shelvey, Sissoko, Wijnaldum, Townsend (Cisse 76’), Mitrovic, Perez.
Subs: Darlow, Taylor, Anita, Saivet, De Jong, Riviere, Cisse.
Goals: Mitrovic (83’)
Sunderland (4-3-3): Mannone, Yedlin, Van Aanholt, Kaboul (c) (O’Shea 72’), Kone, Kirchhoff (Cattermole 84’), Rodwell, M’Vila, Khazri (N’Doye 75’), Borini, Defoe.
Subs: Pickford, Jones, O’Shea, Cattermole, Toivonen, Lens, N’Doye.
Goals: Defoe (44’)