Germany delay departure after downpour

ERASMIA - Germany will delay their departure to Port Elizabeth on Thursday ahead of their match against Serbia after heavy rain damaged the pitch there, the team said on Wednesday.

Initially scheduled to leave by plane on Thursday morning to train in Port Elizabeth ahead of Friday's Group D encounter, the Germans will now train at their usual facility in Atteridgeville near Pretoria before departing for the southern coastal city in the evening.

"Because of the heavy rainfall of the past days, FIFA has banned Germany's and Serbia's pre-match training to protect the quality of the pitch," the team said in a statement.

The Germans, who beat Australia 4-0 to top the group, will now leave at 1700 local time by plane for Port Elizabeth.

They play their final group match against Ghana on June 23 at Soccer City in Johannesburg.

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