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World Cup 2014

Football: Rio pitch very dry - Fellaini

Published on Jun 23, 2014 6:55 AM

RIO DE JANEIRO (AFP) - The Maracana pitch is very energy-sapping and, given warm conditions, was tough for Belgium and Russia in Sunday's World Cup encounter, Belgian midfielder Marouane Fellaini said.

Both Fabio Capello, the Russia coach, and Belgian counterpart Mard Wilmots said the match had been "very intense" and Fellaini said the dry conditions had made life difficult.

"The pitch was very dry. It was physically hard out there for both teams and we also had to deal with the warm conditions," said Fellaini, who scored from the bench against Algeria in the opening group game.

Fellaini, who was a hit with Everton prior to a difficult just-ended season with Manchester United, told AFP he believed it was too early to compare the current Belgian side with the 1986 vintage which reached the semi-finals.

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