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Thursday, 17 October, 2002, 05:26 GMT 06:26 UK
Eriksson defends red-faced Seaman
Artim Sakiri gives Macedonia a surprise lead in the 2-2 draw with England
Macedonia give David Seaman that red-faced feeling

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson has defended David Seaman after his latest blunder in the embarrassing draw against Macedonia.

Veteran goalkeeper Seaman - blamed for the goal that condemned England to defeat against Brazil in the World Cup - was at fault when Artim Sakiri scored direct from a corner.

Eriksson, who also saw Alan Smith sent off in injury-time in the 2-2 draw at Southampton's St Mary's Stadium, said: "The corner was well-taken and David misjudged the ball coming.

"The ball had a lot of pace on it and it's a pity of course, but it's done and there's nothing else to say about it.

"David Seaman has not lost his place in the team. I have talked to him after the game. He made a very good save in the second half.

"We have four months until our next game, a friendly in February, and we have a lot of time to go around and see players - and goalkeepers of course - and we will see what's happening."

  Seaman shockers
1995: Nayim scores from near the halfway line to win the European Cup Winners' Cup for Real Zaragoza
2002: Ronaldinho scores from 35-yards out with a curling free-kick to win the World Cup quarter-final for Brazil
2002: Artim Sakiri's corner for Macedonia deceives the Arsenal keeper in a Euro 2004 qualifier

Eriksson blamed bad luck for England's failure to beat the team ranked 90th in the world.

He added: "It was a very disappointing result but as a performance I think for long periods we played good football.

"I don't know exactly how many chances we created but many, many. We were unlucky and we should have won.

"Basic mistakes happen in football even at the highest level. It's a bad result for us but life goes on and there are eight games to play in the group.

"I am not going to cry about it - I want to fight for first place and I am sure we will do it."

England captain David Beckham, a goalscorer along with Steven Gerrard, said: "We've not lost the game but it's disappointing because it's at home and we had quite a few chances.

"The players are pretty low, we felt we should wave won the game, but we can't afford to get too low, it's only the second game and we have to go on from here."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson
"We deserved to win"
Seaman's former England team-mate Alan Smith
"Maybe he'll feel it's a step too far"
England defender Gary Neville
"Their first goal was amazing"
 VOTE RESULTS
Should England drop David Seaman?

Yes
 76.96% 

No
 23.04% 

41082 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
England v Macedonia news

England 2-2 Mac'donia

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