English Premiership

Pienaar lives up to promise on debut

Steven Pienaar (Getty Images)
Steven Pienaar (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Steven Pienaar appeared to live up to a promise he made to Sunderland fans when he made his debut for the club against Middlesbrough on Sunday.

The 34-year-old, who had just signed a one-year deal with the club following a trial spell, made a somewhat surprise debut for the Black Cats on Sunday afternoon.

The player had been in full training at Sunderland but had last played in an English Premier League contest for Everton six months previously. The former Bafana Bafana star was introduced in the 37th minute for John O'Shea, who was forced to come off with a knock.

Pienaar's debut for the club started off badly as he was on the pitch when the club went 2-0 down. However, the midfielder's ability to keep the ball helped the Black Cats back into the match in the second half.

Sunderland pulled a goal back but were unfortunate not to draw level after a stirring second half revival. Nonetheless, Pienaar's influence in the fightback was significant, and appeared to live up to a promise he'd made to the club's fans.

The South African took to his Twitter account prior to the match and said, "I will play with my heart on my sleeve and give the club 100% commitment, it's the only way I know."

He added,"I look forward to getting to know all the fans at Sunderland and I look forward to sharing great moments with you all."