Ground staff at PE stadium pitch in

GROUND staff at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will work nearly 24 hours a day for the next five days trying to ensure that two of the best teams at the World Cup won't have to play on an inferior pitch.

GROUND staff at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will work nearly 24 hours a day for the next five days trying to ensure that two of the best teams at the World Cup won't have to play on an inferior pitch.

Brazil and the Netherlands are on course for a quarterfinal on Friday in Port Elizabeth if they get past Chile and Slovakia, respectively.

The rain-damaged pitch is being heated with giant warming lamps and a tarpaulin protects the centre of the field and penalty areas. The weather wasn't helping yesterday, but sunshine is forecast to replace intermittent light rain and heavy cloud cover today and tomorrow.

Rain fell during most of the second half of Uruguay's 2-1 second-round win over South Korea on Saturday. The pitch was already in rough shape after three days of rain about 10 days ago, and took a further battering when England beat Slovenia 1-0 last Wednesday. - Sapa-AP

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