Shay Given’s chance of making it to next summer’s World Cup disappeared on a controversial night in Paris.
The City goalkeeper was part of an heroic performance by the Republic of Ireland, who clawed their way back onto level terms in the second leg of their play-off with France before Les Bleus went ahead deep into extra time.
Given led the protests at William Gallas’ goal, which came about after Thierry Henry had clearly controlled the ball with his hand before knocking it into the path of his former Arsenal team-mate.
Sadly for Shay the goal was allowed to stand and as a result he won’t have the chance of representing his country on the biggest stage of all in South Africa next summer.
He was the only City player to see competitive action last night, but several others did get some match-time in a series of friendlies. Nigel de Jong was booked in the first half of the Netherlands’ goalless draw with Paraguay, but he was substituted at half time and did not get the chance to play against City team mate Roque Santa Cruz, who played for the final 40 minutes or so.
Blues skipper Kolo Toure played in the Ivory Coast’s 2-2 draw with Germany on an emotional night in Munich, the first time the German national side had played since the death of goalkeeper Robert Enke last week.