Birmingham scored two goals in the final 12 minutes to secure a 2-2 draw against 10-man Sunderland in their Barclays Premier League opener at the Stadium of Light.
Darren Bent gave the hosts the lead from the penalty spot in the 24th minute after Stephen Carr fouled Fraizer Campbell, and the veteran full-back headed the ball over his own keeper 11 minutes after half-time to put Sunderland two up.
By that point the hosts were already a man down following two yellow cards for new captain Lee Cattermole in the first half and the visitors eventually took full advantage, with Scott Dann heading in a soft first and Liam Ridgewell grabbing the equaliser two minutes from time.
Chances were few and far between until a break from Bent set Sunderland away. Referee Anthony Taylor waved play on when Dann looked to have fouled the striker and, as Campbell surged into the area, he was felled by Carr. Taylor immediately pointed to the spot and, after he had shown Carr a yellow card, Bent stepped up to power the penalty into the bottom corner with 24 minutes gone.
Sunderland were reduced to 10 men two minutes before half-time when Cattermole, who had earlier been booked for a foul on Cameron Jerome, clattered Lee Bowyer and was sent off, but they went two goals up in the 56th minute. Having conceded the penalty in the first half, Carr stretched to get a head to Jordan Henderson's free-kick under pressure from Campbell only to direct it over his own keeper and into the net.
Birmingham were back in it thanks to another act of charity with 12 minutes remaining. The visitors worked a short corner and Sebastian Larsson swung in a cross from the left that was headed down by Scott Dann and right through Simon Mignolet. The pressure on the hosts was growing and two minutes from time Larsson swung in a ball from the right that evaded everyone before finding Ridgewell at the far post and he made no mistake.