Xulu couldn't save Rostov
SIYANDA Xulu was back in the starting line-up for his Russian Premier League side Rostov on Friday night but couldn't prevent them slipping to a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Krasnodar.
It was the final league match before the winter break in Russia. Xulu is returning to South Africa to spend Christmas with his family.
The Russian league campaign resumes in March but he will return for the pre-season on January 13 and two days later head to the United Arab Emirates with his side for a camp, assuming he is not called up to Bafana Bafana for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Also already on holiday is Bafana left-back Ricardo Nunes, whose Slovakian side, Zilina, is not scheduled to play until March.
Ayanda Patosi was switched to the right-hand side for Lokeren's 2-1 loss at Mechelen, their third defeat in a row.
The versatile Patosi can play right across the midfield but has spent much of his time on the left this season. Darren Keet was also on the losing side with Kortrijk as they went down 2-1 at home to second-placed Zulte-Waragem to slip out of the top six.
Kagisho Dikgacoi's English Championship side Crystal Palace were held 2-2 by Blackpool.
Palace looked as if it were on course for the win until the visitors equalised in the last minute. Palace stay in second place and the automatic promotion places but are now three points behind leaders Cardiff City.
Fit-again Davide Somma is expected to make his Leeds United comeback in a reserve team fixture against Birmingham City on Wednesday after 18 months out.
Dean Furman played for Oldham in their 2-0 win at Colchester, a vital three points against their fellow strugglers in League One. Bongani Khumalo played for PAOK as they won 1-0 at home to Levadiakos to stay second in the Greek league .