The Black Cats made the perfect start, Richardson's pace taking him past Jonathan Woodgate, and he lifted the ball over the advancing Heurelho Gomes. Spurs pressed for the equaliser for most of the first half, with Aaron Lennon causing all sorts of problems, but couldn't create many clear-cut chances.
The visitors should have been level just after the break when Dean Whitehead's poor backpass was picked up by Darren Bent, but he blazed the ball high over the bar when one-one-one with Marton Fulop. Djibril Cisse was also guilty of missing chances to extend Sunderland's lead, unable to convert a low Andy Reid cross and heading wide when unmarked from another Reid ball.
Controversy marked Spurs' equaliser as Sunderland felt they should have had a penalty when Kenwyne Jones went down in the area under the challenge of Ledley King, only for Keane to race forward and volley home from Bent's cross.