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'FREAK' GOAL STUNS ROBBO

Posted on 12 October 2006  - 12:00

Paul Robinson experienced one of those moments all goalkeepers dread as England suffered a 2-0 defeat against Croatia on Wednesday night.

Paul Robinson experienced one of those moments all goalkeepers dread as England suffered a 2-0 defeat against Croatia on Wednesday night.

Robbo appeared in inspired form with three top-drawer saves to keep the home side at bay in the European Championship qualifier in Zagreb.

However, he was finally beaten by Eduardo de Silva's looping header just after the hour and then the horror moment nine minutes later - Gary Neville rolled home a backpass, Robbo went to clear, the ball took a wicked bobble and crept almost in slow motion over the goalline.

It was a cruel blow for the keeper, who went into the game chasing seven-successive clean sheets.

"He didn't deserve that," said coach Steve McClaren. "He was going to break Gordon Banks' record if he'd kept a clean sheet. It was unfortunate, Paul had been outstanding all night."

Robbo later described the goal as 'a freak'. "It's one of those things - there was nothing I could do," he said. "I think the ball bobbled where their goalkeeper took his goal-kicks in the first half.

"You don't expect things like that to happen - I'd gone to kick the ball as usual and it wasn't there.

"But I can take positives from the game rather than just look at that."

Jermain Defoe came on for Scott Parker after 72 minutes with Jermaine Jenas again an unused substitute.