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   June 22, 2002 | 1200 IST


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Seaman's coach says goal was fluke

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David Seaman's coach said the England keeper broke down in tears on the telephone to him after the 2-1 World Cup quarter-final defeat by Brazil on Friday - but Bob Wilson described the winner as "an absolute fluke".

Ronaldinho clinched the match in Shizuoka with a 50th minute free-kick from 35 metres which cleared Seaman, who had ventured a few metres out of his goal expecting a cross, and just dipped under the bar.

David Seaman watches Ronaldinho's free-kick dip into the goal.Wilson, a former Scotland and Arsenal keeper who has recently retired as the London club's goalkeeping coach, told the Daily Telegraph that he spoke to Seaman over the phone after England's defeat.

"Seaman broke down -- something I have never seen," he said. "On the second phone call, when he had composed himself and was coming to terms with what had happened, I also handed the phone to (former England coach) Terry Venables, who was with me in London.

"Terry told Seaman -- almost aggressively -- that he was without doubt the best goalkeeper in the 2002 World Cup.

"Ronaldinho will say that his shot was intentional. However, the technical facts indicate that it was an absolute fluke," said Wilson.

"Seaman hasn't cost England the match. What happened yesterday was totally unpredictable. I hope the legacy of this match is that this will be seen as a fluky goal but not one you could blame the goalkeeper for.

"Only the cruellest critics or, more to the point, someone who does not understand the art of goalkeeping, would accuse Seaman of having made a crass mistake," Wilson added.

He continued: "With the goalkeeper positioned correctly, the curling parabola and arc of the shot was impossible to save, unless the keeper has had a very early sighting of the ball.

"Quite clearly you could see David peeping round (England team mate) Paul Scholes. By the time the ball was on its way, he was never going to recover.

"My theory is that if you had no goalkeeper there, removed the wall and asked Ronaldinho to practise that delivery again, I reckon he would hit the identical spot with the same arc perhaps once in 500 attempts."

Seaman was seen in tears immediately on the final whistle being consoled by skipper David Beckham and he broke down again during post-match interviews with reporters.

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