The Black Cats skipped away to a nice lead in the 22nd minute but the visiting Hammers produced a fightback to grab yet another point away from home.
Steven Fletcher opened the scoring for the Wearside club when firing home Yann M'Vila's low cross in the 10th minute before Jeremain Lens added a second with a delightful chip over Adrian from just outside the area.
Sunderland were reduced to ten men just before the hour-mark when Lens was sent off for a second bookable offence and it paid dividends for the Hammers as Dimitri Payet netted an equaliser in the 60th minute after Costel Pantilimon failed to hold onto Manuel Lanzini's initial effort.
The draw allowed Sunderland to move off the bottom of the table but it proved to be Dick Advocaat's final game in charge of the club while Slaven Bilic's Hammers dropped to sixth despite extending their unbeaten run to five matches.
- Sunderland found a way not to win after a great start. Are they capable of turning their best into consistent results?
- West Ham have the best away form in the league. Can they produce a top-six finish if they start to win at home?
Thank you to all the fans for the support were behind us the whole game! #SAFC@SunderlandAFC
— DeAndre Yedlin (@yedlinny) October 3, 2015
We Still alive! We are alive! Could got the 3 pts with my chance I know! head up and look high to… https://t.co/db0mAnU8pk
— Fabio Borini (@borinifabio29) October 3, 2015
Tough game but boys worked hard to get a result and we move on to the next now
— Victor Moses (@VictorMoses) October 3, 2015
Advocaat on his decision to leave Sunderland:
“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around - like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club."
West Ham's Bilic on his side's ability to fight back:
"The way we played today was very, very positive for everybody. There was not a player who was not in the game. Overall, I am very proud of what they showed today, the commitment was really great."
*Thanks to Opta
11 - Eleven of Sunderland's 12 shots against West Ham came in the first half. Retreat.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 3, 2015
Goals - Jermain Defoe, Steven Fletcher, Jeremain Lens 2
Assists - Jeremain Lens, Yann M'Vila 2
Yellow cards - Billy Jones, Sebastian Coates, Jeremain Lens 4
Red cards - Younes Kaboul, Jeremain Lens 1