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Page last updated at 19:53 GMT, Sunday, 13 June 2010 20:53 UK

World Cup 2010: Polokwane pitch comes in for criticism

The Slovenia team celebrate

Highlights - Algeria 0-1 Slovenia

The Polokwane pitch has come under fire after Algeria's 1-0 World Cup Group C defeat by Slovenia on Sunday.

Algeria's Majid Bougherra believes the mix of grass and synthetic fibre affected the ball's bounce as Robert Koren's shot beat Faouzi Chaouchi.

"If we'd had a normal pitch it would never have gone in," said defender Bougherra of the turf which will also be used for matches held at Nelspruit.

"In the last bounce it went quickly and it changed the thinking of the keeper."

Another seven matches will be played on the mixed synthetic and grass pitches during the finals.

Rangers defender Bougherra also joined the growing list of players and coaches who have criticised the World Cup Jabulani ball.

"For the player when we shoot it's a good ball, but for the keeper it's horrible," Bougherra said. "In the air sometimes it changes course at the last minute so it's very difficult."

But coach Algeria Rabah Saadane was less sympathetic towards his goalkeeper.

"Everyone saw what happened with the ball, and what happened with England's goalkeeper," said Saadane, referring to Robert Green's blunder during the 1-1 draw with the United States on Saturday.

Algeria's Abdelkader Ghezzal

Algeria's Ghezzal receives red card

"You have to adjust to the flight of the ball."

Saadane went on to rue a "great opportunity" missed by his side in Polokwane as Slovenia took the chance to top the group.

"We must recover and prepare for an even more difficult match with England, the best in the group," said Saadane, whose side play Fabio Capello's team on Friday 18 June in Cape Town.

"It's going to be difficult. We had a great opportunity and we missed it."

Meanwhile, Algeria substitute Abdelkader Ghezzal was sent off for a second yellow card and will miss their game against England.

Slovenia's Robert Koren

Koren puts Slovenia in front



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see also
Highlights - Algeria 0-1 Slovenia
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup day three photos
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
'Sorry' Green vows to bounce back
13 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Designers defend World Cup ball
04 Jun 10 |  Science & Environment
James criticises World Cup ball
02 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Team tracker and Predictor
27 May 10 |  World Cup 2010
World Cup venues
05 Dec 09 |  World Cup 2010


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