‘Unnecessary’ moment leaves Dutch star in tears & overshadows World Cup win: ‘I feel very stupid’

Reaching the quarter-finals of a FIFA Women’s World Cup is usually cause for celebration, but for Danielle van de Donk, there were mixed emotions.

The Netherlands punched their ticked to the last eight courtesy of a 2-0 win over South Africa in Sydney on Sunday, however, Dutch star Van de Donk was in tears post-game.

As the whistle blew and a showdown with fellow European juggernaut Spain was confirmed, the realisation set in – the Netherlands’ tireless midfielder will be suspended for the blockbuster matchup due to an accumulation of cards.

Van de Donk picked up a yellow card in the second half, which put a line through her name for Friday’s fixture in Wellington. The UEFA Women’s Champions League winner had to be consoled by teammates and staff following the game.

“This is unbelievable, unnecessary. On that side of the pitch, at that moment of the game, with a yellow,” former Netherlands international Mandy van den Berg told NOS.

“There was no reason for Van de Donk to do that. It is a very big shame that she will miss the quarter final against a fantastic Spanish team.”

Van de Donk – the partner of Matildas star and Lyon teammate Ellie Carpenter – fronted the media post-match and the 32-year-old was honest about her feelings.

“I feel very stupid,” she told NOS.

“You don’t want to be suspended for the next round and I now have to deal with that personally.

“We grieve for a while today, but after that it must be done. I hope to be there again from the semi-finals. But now I’m especially proud of the team we’re through. I am suspended against Spain, the next one has to get up.”

Her head coach Andries Jonker added: “It’s annoying. It is especially annoying for herself.”