It was back to league football for South Africa’s top stars in Europe, with mixed fortunes for the various players
There was no goal this week for Ayanda Patosi, but Lokeren still managed a 1-0 victory over Germinal Beerschot to move into third in the Belgian league.
It ends a run of four consecutive matches in which the 20-year-old had scored, elevating his status to among the most talked-about players in Belgium.
Darren Keet might have done a favour for his compatriot as his Kortrijk side played away at leaders Anderlecht, but could not stop them slipping to a 1-0 defeat. Lokeren now trail leaders Anderlecht by four points.
There was still no sign of Daylon Claasen or Lance Davids for Lierse, while Anele Ngcongca was rested for Genk as they lost 3-1 at Cercle Brugge. He returned from national duty with South Africa feeling unwell.
Kgosi Ntlhe (Peterborough United) and Davide Somma (Leeds United) remain sidelined with injury, while Dean Furman was suspended for Oldham Athletic in League One. Darren Holden played for Hartlepool, though he might have wished he hadn’t as they lost 5-0 at home to Coventry City.
Steven Pienaar played for Everton in their 2-1 loss at Reading, while Andrew Surman was again missing for Norwich City as they stunned Manchester United 1-0.
The reports that Thulani Serero has started running again at Ajax Amsterdam is cautiously good news for Bafana coach Gordon Igesund, but Kamohelo Moktojo was again missing for Feyenoord as they beat Willem II 3-0. He has been playing reserve team football since returning from an ankle injury last month.
Xulu, who has missed more than a month with a thigh injury, came up against Cameroon legend Samuel Eto’o and won praise for his performance in what could turn out to be a vital point for the relegation-threatened Rostov.
Xulu will now hope for a run of games in the side to try and work his way into Gordon Igesund’s plans for the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.