Tough weekend for overseas stars

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Steven Pienaar (Everton, England) Result: 0-0 vs Portsmouth (away) An uncharacteristically niggly display from Pienaar in which he created little, but was perhaps a touch lucky not to receive a red card. One foul too many saw him collect a yellow midway through the first half, and he would have had his heart in his mouth just before halftime when he hauled down Benjani Mwaruwari, but the referee gave him only a talking too. Subbed on 52 minutes.

Benni McCarthy (Blackburn Rovers, England) Result: 3-1 vs Newcastle United (home) No goals for McCarthy but a good all-round display that saw him link up well with strike-partner Roque Santa Cruz. He was eventually substituted on 61 minutes with the scores level at 1-1 as boss Mark Hughes opted for the quicker Jason Roberts.

Aaron Mokoena (Blackburn Rovers, England) Result: 3-1 vs Newcastle United (home) Mokoena made his fifth Rovers start in a row in all competitions as Hughes continues to opt for his steel in midfield. But as on all the previous five occasions he failed to complete the match as he was substituted on 66 minutes.

Burton O’Brien (Sheffield Wednesday, England) Result: 1-2 vs Colchester United (home) O’Brien played 70 minutes for The Owls in a losing cause before eventually being substituted. Not his best performance of the season, though he has now featured in the last 10 matches for the team after initially being out of favour at the start of the campaign.

Matthew Pattison (Norwich City, England, loan) Result: 1-2 vs Stoke City (away) Pattison’s loan spell at Norwich continued with his third consecutive start, but he was hauled off after 55 minutes after a largely ineffectual display in midfield. At least he is finally seeing some competitive action after languishing in the Newcastle United reserves.

Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany) Result: 0-1 vs Bayern Munich (home) Didn’t start the game but came on for the second half after a concussion for first-choice Mathias Hain. By this time his team was already trailing and he made two great saves from Luca Toni and Frank Ribery to keep the scoreline at 1-0 under immense pressure from Bayern.

Sibusiso Zuma (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany) Result: 0-1 vs Bayern Munich (home) Started the game and was unlucky not to score in the 20th minute when he met a cross at the near post and saw his effort come off the woodwork. He couldn’t collect the rebound and the chance was lost. Played the full 90 minutes, but few chances came his way after that.

Delron Buckley (Borussia Dortmund, Germany) Result: 2-1 vs Vfb Stuttgart (away) Buckley came on for the last 13 minutes and helped Dortmund to their first win in four matches as the away side claimed the winner with 11 minutes left on the clock.

Nasief Morris (Panathinaikos, Greece) Result: 0-0 vs Xanthi (home) Played the full 90 minutes in a disappointing 0-0 draw at home to Xanthi. The Greens had 13 shots to one on goal, but couldn’t find a breakthrough, though the result does take them to the top of the Greek Super League, temporarily at least.

Pierre Issa (OFI Crete, Greece) Result: 0-0 vs Larissa (home) Played 80 minutes in a game of few chances before being substituted as his coach switched to a more attacking style in search of goals.

Glen Salmon (PAOK Salonika, Greece) Result: 0-2 vs Asteras Tripolis (away) Played the full 90 minutes but failed to find the back of the net. Has now scored just twice in nine appearances for PAOK this season.

Siyabonga Nomvete (Aalborg, Denmark) Result: 5-3 vs Lyngby (home) Played 69 minutes of an amazing game before being substituted. His side were 3-0 down inside 39 minutes, but in the 16 minutes after halftime scored four goals, before adding a fifth.

Elrio van Heerden (Club Brugge, Belgium) Result: 0-0 vs AA Gent (home) Played his first game since November 9 and won rave reviews, being named Man of the Match, despite the 0-0 scoreline. Was subbed on 89 minutes.

Graeme Brown (Alloa Atheltic, Scotland) Result: 0-1 vs Queen’s Park (away) Striker Brown’s dismal season in front of goal continued as he was substituted on 70 minutes. He has now scored just once in his last 10 appearances.

Asanda Sishuba (Sint-Truiden, Belgium) Result: 0-3 vs GBA (home) Came on in the 23rd minute but couldn’t help his side going down 3-0 at home and remaining perilously close to the relegation zone.

Those that did not see action: Bally Smart (Norwich City, England), Mark Arber (Stevenage Borough, England), Glyn Hurst (Bury, England), Justin Miller (Port Vale, England), Michael Modubi (Westerlo, Belgium), Jeffrey Ntuka (Westerlo, Belgium), Boy-Boy Mosia (Oud-Heverlee Leuven, Belgium), Siyabonga Nkosi (Arminia Bielefeld, Germany), Bradley Carnell (Karlsruher, Germany), Benedict Vilakazi (Aalborg, Denmark)

By Nick Said

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