Sunderland was denied a win by former loanee Ki Sung-yueng in a 1-1 Premier League draw at Swansea City on Saturday.
Ki Sung-yueng returned to haunt former club Sunderland as his second-half header rescued a 1-1 Premier League draw for Swansea City on Saturday.
The South Korea international, back in the starting XI after reaching the Asian Cup final with his country, spent the majority of last season on loan at Sunderland.
And the midfielder, who also had a goal ruled out in the first half, made a decisive contribution when he stooped low to meet Kyle Naughton's cross in the second half at the Liberty Stadium — denying Sunderland what would have been back-to-back league wins for the first time this season.
Swansea was somewhat unfortunate to go into the break 1-0 down after wasting several chances, with Jermain Defoe — who opened his Sunderland account in last weekend's 2-0 win over Burnley — showing his finishing skills with a low drive shortly before halftime.
The hosts' pressure finally told with Ki's header and a draw was no more than Garry Monk's men deserved for their efforts.
A point leaves Swansea in ninth, while Guy Poyet's Sunderland remains 14th.
Swansea, which handed Jack Cork a debut in one of three changes from the 1-0 win at Southampton, engineered the first shot on goal in the ninth minute when Bafetimbi Gomis fizzed a low strike wide of the right-hand post.
Sunderland, which named two changes to the side that beat Burnley, including a first league start for Danny Graham since the last game of the 2012-13 season, gradually grew into the game. Former Swansea midfielder Jordi Gomez flashed an early effort wide.
Their threat proved brief as Swansea reasserted itself and Gomis was denied by a smart save from Costel Pantilimon, who was out quick to save the striker's low shot after he latched on to Jonjo Shelvey's through ball.
The French striker came close again on the half-hour mark when he stretched to meet a teasing cross from Modou Barrow — making his first Premier League start — with his right foot, but he failed to make clean contact.
It appeared as though the pressure had paid off when Ki side-footed home Shelvey's free kick, only to see his goal ruled out for offside.
Sunderland made the most of the reprieve in the 41st minute as Swansea's defenders backed off Defoe, allowing the England international to fire a clinical strike low into the bottom left-hand corner from 18 yards.
Shortly after the restart Sunderland's Ricky Alvarez — rewarded with a start after scoring in Tuesday's 3-1 FA Cup win over Fulham — thought he should have had a penalty when he was tripped by Ashley Williams in the penalty area.
The hosts continued to enjoy the majority of possession and their reward finally came in the 66th minute when January signing Naughton's cross was met with a diving header from Ki that beat Pantilimon.
Buoyed by the goal, Swansea continued to probe and Shelvey bent a free kick wide from 30 yards.
Sunderland was forced to survive a few anxious moments in the closing stages, but despite substitute Nelson Oliveira testing Pantilimon's reflexes late, Swansea was left frustrated in its pursuit of a winner.