New manager Martin O'Neill saw Sunderland miss a penalty before Steven Fletcher's double earned Wolves a 2-1 victory at Molineux.
O'Neill, who will officially take charge on Monday as Steve Bruce's successor, watched from the directors box as Kieran Richardson put the Black Cats ahead early in the second period.
But then Sebastian Larsson saw his penalty saved by Wolves keeper Wayne Hennessey before Fletcher struck twice in eight minutes.
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