South Africans Abroad Review: Pienaar's assist keeps pressure on Suarez and Co.

The former Bafana Bafana captain provided an assist to help Everton to a 2-1 win over Aston Villa, and close a four-point gap between them and Liverpool to just two points

Steven Pienaar provided an assist to his namesake Steven Naismith, as Everton came from a goal down to defeat Aston Villa 2-1 at the Goodison Park on Saturday.

Kevin Mirallas’ 85th minute goal kept Roberto Martinez’s side in touching distance with their neighbours Liverpool as both teams battle to finish inside the top four teams at the end of the season.

The Toffees are fifth in the Premier League standings with 45 points from 24 games, and they look set to compete with the best in Europe next season.

Kagisho Dikgacoi returned to Tony Pulis’ starting line-up and played the entire 90 minutes in Crystal Palace’s 2-0 loss to leaders Arsenal.

KG gave his best against the high-flying Gunners, but the quality of Arsene Wenger’s team proved too much for the Eagles.

In the Championship, Tokelo Rantie, who scored the winner in Cherries’ midweek win over Huddersfield, was substituted before the start of the second half, as Bournemouth conceded a late goal against Leicester City.

South African midfielder Andrew Surman was sacrificed immediately after that goal, as manager Eddie Howe introduced Brett Pitman in search of an equaliser.

The defeat leaves Bournemouth 14th on the log with 34 points from 28 games, and their hopes of making the play-offs are slowly fading away.

Bongani Khumalo put in another solid performance, as Doncaster Rovers were held to a 0-0 draw at home against Middlesbrough on Saturday afternoon.

 The South Africa defender has certainly made his mark since moving to Rovers on loan from Tottenham Hotspur last year.

Midfielder Dean Furman came off the bench to take Paul Keegan’s role at the start of the second half, but he was unable to inspire Paul Dickov’s side to victory.



Andile Jali was unable to make his debut for KV Oostende, but the South African midfielder watched his teammates from the bench as his club narrowly defeated SC Royal Charlerio 1-0.

The 23-year-old was really looking forward to his first appearance in Europe, but he would be glad to have been part of the 18-man squad that did the job this weekend.

Racing Genk captain Anele Ngcongca played the entire 90 minutes and helped his team emerge 2-0 victorious against KV Mechelen on Saturday.

Darren Keet’s KV Kortrijk couldn’t beat 10-men Waasland-Beveren as they could only afford a point from their Saturday’s away game.

Keet was dropped for this clash having conceded four goals in Kortrijk’s 4-3 defeat to Lierse last weekend, and his place was taken by Michael Clepkens.

Ayanda Patosi enjoyed the last 20 minutes of Lokeren's 1-1 draw away to Zulte-Waregem after replacing Sergio Junior Dutra.

Lokeren are currently fifth in the Jupiler League standings with 40 points from 24 games, as the Belgian Pro League approaches the end.


Kamohelo Mokotjo hardly put his foot wrong in PEC Zwolle’s 1-0 win over Roda JC Kerkrade on Saturday night. Ryan Thomas’ strike was enough to seal all three points for Mokotjo’s side.

Zwolle have now moved into the top eight teams in the Dutch Eredivisie standings, and Mokotjo would be proud that he has contributed positively in almost every match so far this season.

His Bafana teammate, Thulani Serero also played the entire match against on Sunday, but the diminutive attacker had an average game in Ajax Amsterdam’s 1-1 at FC Utrecht.

The Dutch giants extended their lead to two points at the top of the log, but all is not lost as they are still favourites to win the league again this season.

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