Jordi Gomez, Adam Johnson and Connor Wickham struck in the last 13 minutes to daze the hosts and give the Premier League side triumph at St Andrew’s.
At the same time Blues were infuriated after Gomez’s opener, guaranteeing the ball had gone out in the fabricate up.
The Black Cats made diligent work of the win as David Cotterill hit the post and Clayton Donaldson missed for the hosts.
It was pitiless on Birmingham, who had matched the Barclays Premier League side in Lee Clark’s initially meeting with Sunderland as a chief, after a two-year spell with the Black Cats which finished in contention in 1999.
The previous midfielder was compelled to leave in the wake of wearing a hostile T-shirt which derided Sunderland fans.
Clark approached Colin Doyle in objective while inverse number Gus Poyet rolled out six improvements from the side which held Manchester United to a 1-1 draw at the weekend.
Costel Pantilimon, Billy Jones and Gomez made their first begins for the Black Cats.
Sebastian Larsson additionally began, having put in five years at Blues before moving to the north-east.
Paul Caddis tried Pantilimon from separation early yet any early trust for a Birmingham surge was quickly dashed.
Soul’s coarseness and determination provided for them a decent footing yet they seldom ruptured the Sunderland backline with genuine threat in the opening 30 minutes.
The amusement’s person on foot nature did little to summon an exhibition either.
The guests, incoherent and worn out, seldom resembled a top flight side with Jozy Altidore detached in advance.
Doyle was overall secured by the Birmingham resistance and constrained and limp Sunderland fail to offer the nous to infiltrate.
The hosts made the best risks late in the first half however and could have gone into the break ahead.
To begin with Wes Thomas turned Mark Duffy’s cross wide on 43 minutes and after 60 seconds Cotterill hit the outside of the post from a tight plot.
They were short splendid minutes in a dismal first half and things did not enhance in the early phases of the second half.
While Birmingham remained the aggressors, their last ball rendered any form up futile with Sunderland effortlessly holding firm.
Steadily the top flight side started to assume responsibility through.
Gomez couldn’t constrain the ball in after a 65th moment scramble and Doyle spared Liam Bridcutt’s low exertion a moment later.
Notwithstanding, the Black Cats broke the gridlock with 13 minutes remaining – when Gomez got the ball 25 yards out and rifled into the bottom corner.
Birmingham were miserable however as they felt the ball had gone out profound in the Sunderland half amid the construct up.
Donaldson squandered a fine opportunity to right away level when he shot at Pantilimon and David Edgar shot over before Sunderland fixed the diversion.
Johnson shot in after Altidore’s shot was spared in the 87th moment, before Wickham stroked in from 15 yards a moment later.