Viktor Gyokeres scored once and assisted twice as Brighton & Hove Albion beat Sunderland 3-1 in Group H.
Having set up the opener for Jiri Skalak on 17 minutes, the midfielder doubled the home side's advantage with a stunning strike just before half-time.
Gyokeres then had his cross turned in for an own-goal by Josh Robson.
Tom Dallison handled in the area to allow Sunderland's Elliot Embleton to convert a penalty, but it was no more than a consolation.
The result means Brighton are second in Group H, above Sunderland on goal difference and level on points with Exeter City, who have a match in hand.
Brighton: 29 Jan v Newcastle (A) PL2
Sunderland: 28 Jan v Arsenal (H) PL2