Match ends, Sunderland 1, Birmingham City 1.
Birmingham held on to deny Sunderland back-to-back home victories despite Sam Gallagher's second-half sending off.
Gallagher put the Blues ahead at the second attempt after his initial effort was saved, but Lewis Grabban fired in the equaliser soon after.
Both sides had several chances before Gallagher was shown a second yellow card for a foul on James Vaughan.
Sunderland dominated the game following his dismissal but were unable to break down a packed Blues defence.
Gallagher's early goal, just Birmingham's 12th of the season, could have relieved some of the pressure on boss Steve Cotterill, who received a vote of confidence from the club's board prior to the game.
But Grabban's 12th goal of his campaign left City without a win in six games, bottom of the Championship and three points adrift of safety.
Sunderland had ended a 364-day wait for a home victory in their previous Championship fixture, and they could have had a second in eight days had David Stockdale not made a fine second-half save to deny George Honeyman.
But a draw was a fair result for both sides as Sunderland fell back into the relegation zone, one point and one place below 21st-placed Burton at Christmas.
Sunderland boss Chris Coleman:
"I'm disappointed. [It was] an opportunity missed. Overall we were a little nervous, lacked a bit of confidence.
"I was pleased at 1-0 down to show conviction. We didn't fold. We showed adversity and courage, but I expected us to go and win it.
"In key moments we lost conviction and courage too after that. In all our performances since I have been here this is the one we looked nervous."
Birmingham boss Steve Cotterill:
"I think it was a foul on Cheikh Ndoye for Sunderland's goal. Sam Gallagher's two bookings are the softest you will see in your life.
"Sam is an honest boy. He hasn't dived. When he gets that touch, he has to go round him. What happens if he goes steaming into the keeper? It was harsh.
"We could have been two goals to the good at half-time. We carved out some great chances."
- 24GibsonSubstituted forNdongat 74'minutes
- 11GrabbanSubstituted forMajaat 74'minutes
- 9VaughanSubstituted forAsoroat 75'minutes
- 12DeanBooked at 80mins
- 3GroundsBooked at 90mins
- 6KieftenbeldBooked at 64mins
- 27JotaSubstituted forDavisat 80'minutes
- 17NdoyeSubstituted forJutkiewiczat 86'minutes
- 20BogaSubstituted forMaghomaat 79'minutes
- 18GallagherBooked at 67mins
- Oliver Langford
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Sunderland 1, Birmingham City 1.
Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City).
Jonathan Grounds (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Joel Asoro (Sunderland).
Maxime Colin (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Donald Love (Sunderland).
Jacques Maghoma (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Lukas Jutkiewicz (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Marc Wilson (Sunderland).
Attempt blocked. Adam Matthews (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lynden Gooch.
Substitution, Birmingham City. Lukas Jutkiewicz replaces Cheikh Ndoye.
Attempt blocked. Lynden Gooch (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by George Honeyman.
Michael Morrison (Birmingham City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Joel Asoro (Sunderland).
Hand ball by Josh Maja (Sunderland).
Attempt saved. Adam Matthews (Sunderland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Harlee Dean (Birmingham City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Harlee Dean (Birmingham City).