Steve Bruce was pleased with his team's work rate despite the scoreline against Benfica in Albufeira.
The Portuguese side ran out 2-0 winners but they were matched for effort by a Sunderland team who suffered their first defeat of the pre-season.
The Black Cats will now return to England ahead of Saturday's game against Leicester and Bruce was delighted with the way they battled against a team he considers to be amongst the best on the Continent.
"It was a fabulous run-out and work-out against a really, really top team," he said.
"It's always good to play against these top teams in Europe and you can see why they're Portuguese champions and cup champions. They had a wonderful season last year and they've got some very talented players.
"It was a great workout. I was very, very pleased.
"When you play against the top teams like we've played against, the one thing you have to do is work hard. They did that exceptionally well.
"We were lacking a little bit of cut and thrust up front with Benty not there and Kenwyne having to come off. All in all, a good work-out which will stand us in good stead."