Stuart Dye at the World Cup
Stuart Dye blogs from the Fifa World Cup

Great World Cup goalkeeping blunders

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Don't blame jabulani - blame poor technique.

Before a ball was kicked at this World Cup goalkeepers were already complaining about jabulani, the name of the new ball unveiled for South Africa 2010.

Sounds suspiciously like getting their excuses in early.

Over the opening weekend there were two horrendous blunders. England's Robert Green somehow helped a trickling effort from American Clint Dempsey to cross the line, while the unfortunate Algerian stopper Faouzi Chaouchi gifted Slovenia a 1-0 victory.

But the ball cannot be blamed on either occasion.

Both 'keepers made elementary technical errors in failing to get their bodies behind the ball.

Designed by adidas, jabulani apparently moves up to 5 per cent faster, so subtle changes in flight are emphasised. That effect maybe compounded by the high altitude, some players have suggested.

It's designer insists it is more accurate than any previous ball, but players are incapable of kicking the ball identically each time - unlike test robots.

Whether criticisms of the ball turn out to be justified remains to be seen, but for now Green and Chauochi join a great tradition of World Cup goalkeeping blunders.

1) Colombian keeper Rene Higuita was known as a "sweeper keeper" thanks to his fondness for playing outside the box as an extra defender.

Inevitably it all came undone against Cameroon in 1990 when he lost the ball to Roger Milla who promptly scored.

2) The same tournament and Cameroon were again on the receiving end of some generous goalkeeping when they came up against the might of Argentina, whose number one Nery Pumpido allowed a harmless header to squirm under his body.

3) Rob Green can look back at one of England's greats, David Seaman for inspiration. In the 2002 quarterfinal against Brazil, the pony-tailed one failed to lift his creaking frame to a Ronaldinho cross-shot.

4) Brazil benefitted from another `keeper cock-up in the same tournament when German Oliver Kahn inexplicably fumbled an easy save into the path of Ronaldo.

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