Antolin Alcaraz's late header salvaged a 1-1 draw for Wigan after debutant Asamoah Gyan had opened the scoring for 10-man Sunderland at the DW Stadium.
The Wearsiders had their captain Lee Cattermole - a former Latics player - sent off in the first half.
Cattermole scythed down Hugo Rodallega on the edge of the box and he was shown his second yellow card. It was Cattermole's second sending-off in three league games following his dismissal against Birmingham on the opening day of the season and his third since joining Sunderland.
But the visitors took the lead in the 66th minute when substitute Gyan converted Jordan Henderson's cross.
The hosts came away with a point though thanks to Alcaraz, whose effort three minutes from time caught Black Cats goalkeeper Simon Mignolet cold.