There were mixed emotions for two City stars after a dramatic World Cup quarter final in Port Elizabeth on Friday.
Nigel de Jong helped the Netherlands overhaul a one goal deficit – courtesy of Robinho – to dump Brazil out of the tournament, but he will miss out on the semi final after picking up his second booking of the finals.
But there were no tears from the Dutch destroyer, who received the yellow card for pulling Robinho back in the 63rd minute. Instead, Nigel has urged his team mates to make sure they give him the chance of getting his place back for the final.
He said, "I told them in the dressing room they'd have to pull up their socks as I was not going to miss the semi final only to end up playing in the match for third place.
"I am so disappointed. Of course I knew that I could get a yellow card, but it was my first foul in the game. I knew the referee was very eager to give a yellow or red card, but there was nothing I could do.
It's sad to miss the semi final. Of course I wanted to play every game, especially a semi final. That's a very important game.
Nigel has also revealed how the Dutch kept the faith to stun the Brazilians, and the watching world, to secure a spot in the semi final, where they will face Uruguay in Cape Town next Tuesday.
“We always believed in ourselves and even after the first half, which wasn't good, I knew that we could still get it right. We were slightly nervous in the beginning and Brazil capitalized on that.
"They were very good in the first half, but I think we came back strong in the second. They had two, three good chances in the first half and scored one goal, but we turned the match around in the second half.”
There’s still plenty of City interest in the World Cup, with Roque Santa Cruz, Carlos Tevez and Jerome Boateng all set for their quarter finals later on Saturday. We wish them all the very best of luck.