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Sunderland beats Everton 2-0 away, boosts chances of avoiding relegation from Premier League

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LIVERPOOL, England — Sunderland climbed out of the relegation zone in the English Premier League by winning 2-0 at Everton thanks to second-half goals by Danny Graham and Jermain Defoe on Saturday.

Sunderland moved above Hull and Newcastle into 16th place and is two points above the bottom three with a game in hand on its key rivals.

Graham scored his first goal for Sunderland in his 2 1/2 years at the club when he unwittingly deflected in Jordi Gomez's shot in the 53rd minute.

Defoe added the second in the 86th by forcing the ball in from close range — perhaps off his hand — after Adam Johnson's shot was deflected into the striker's path.

Sunderland rode its luck to secure a first away win in 2015, and third victory in its last five matches under temporary coach Dick Advocaat.

"At some moments they outplayed us but our back five including the goalkeeper did really well," Advocaat said. "At the end of the day, we got three points and I try to forget the nature of things."

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