The Irish international latched onto Kieran Richardson’s pass before firing a shot past Frankie Fielding in the Rams net in the 71st minute.
However his effort was cancelled out by the former Nottingham Forest striker who headed home from close range to prevent Martin O’Neill’s side picking up their second win of pre-season.
The Black Cats were on the front foot early in the game and nearly went ahead through McClean who broke up field on a counter attack and fired powerful left-footed shot at goal only to see the ball clatter the post.
O’Neill’s side were dominating and were again denied by the woodwork as Cuellar’s shot smacked the post before being cleared by the Rams defence after the Spaniard had done well to find space in the penalty area.
After riding out early pressure from the Black Cats, Derby pressed forward and Jamie Ward made keeper Simon Mignolet produce a good stop diving to his right to stop the striker’s powerful effort penetrating the net before half-time.
O’Neill’s side had made a slow start to the second-half but they were growing into the game and Fraizer Campbell came within inches of giving them the lead after poking the ball past Fielding but Tom Naylor was on hand to clear the ball off the line.
The striker’s miss did not cost them though, as they took the lead through McClean as he fired in from close range from tight angle after picking up a pass from Richardson who’d done well down the left to find the Irishman.
Campbell was again in the action minutes later and came within inches of doubling the Wearsiders lead but he just failed to get on the end of Elmohamady’s pinpoint cross, with Fielding beaten all ends up.
Nigel Clough’s side pressed for an equaliser late in the game and Tyson to find space in the box and was able to head home Hoganson’s cross for close range beating Mignolet to earn his side a draw against the Premier League side.