West Ham headed into the Premier League game at the Stadium of Light as favourites, but they had to settle for a share of the spoils.
Hosts Sunderland took the lead as early as the 10th minute when Steven Fletcher fired home from Yann M'Vila's free kick.
Jeremain Lens' sublime chip midway through the first half doubled the Black Cats’ advantage, but the Hammers launched a comeback thereafter.
Carl Jenkinson halved the deficit for the Hammers on the stroke of half time, and Dimitri Payet equalised on the hour mark after Lens was sent off.
Former West Ham winger Etherington was following the match, and he was impressed with the team’s fightback.
Over the course of the 90 minutes at the Stadium of Light, West Ham had 56% of the possession, took 20 shots of which six were on target, and earned eight corners.