SUNDERLAND were held to a goalless draw in their opening game of a pre-season tour to the Algarve.

There were strong saves late on from Rodrigo Conceicao and Charlie Wyke efforts as Benfica B competed every step of the way to keep the Black Cats at bay.

Lynden Gooch hit the cross bar before the break and that was the closest either came to finding the net.

Most recent signing Jordan Willis, signed after leaving Coventry as a free agent, made his first appearance as Jack Ross named a strong side against the Portuguese outfit.

Ross made four changes at the break, with Willis, Will Grigg, Conor McLaughlin and Grant Leadbitter all making way to be replaced by Glenn Loovens, Luke O’Nien, Ruben Sammut and Benji Kimpioka. Further changes followed but no goals arrived.

Sunderland: Burge, Baldwin, Willis (Loovens 45), Ozturk (Flanagan 68), C McLaughlin (O’Nien 45), Gooch (Hume 68), Leadbitter (Sammut 45), Robson (McGeouch 68), Maguire (Embleton 68), Grigg (Kimpioka 45), Wyke (Watmore 68). Subs (not used): J McLaughlin, Diamond, Patterson.