Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group D – Ghana 4 Australia 3

FT/24 comments • 767 views

(due to technical issues we’re swapping the two group d games round, Germany vs Serbia tomorrow hopefully)

And welcome back to Group D where the current leaders Ghana take on Australia, who’ll be looking for their first win to help them out of the group. A real contrast of styles here today…

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 24th March.

GHANA: Wulomai – “Jalelele” The Manager Says: After a comfortable victory over the Serbs, the Ghanaians know that they can secure qualification for the knockout stages with a win over Australia. But manager Ben Graham is wary of the threat posed by the Aussies, and has turned to the veterans in the squad, Wulomei, to try and keep things tight. Wulomei last represented Ghana in the 1970s, and after the death of founder member Naa Adei in 2007, the group re-recorded some of their biggest hits, including this, Jalelele. The gaffer will be hoping that their vast experience of international pop competition will be able to match whatever the Aussies throw at them.

AUSTRALIA: The Birthday Party – “Nick The Stripper” The Manager Says: After failing to return to Sydney with 3 points, the Australian press was not happy with the manager and wanted a change in strategy. Early scouting indicated that Ghana would be a tough opponent (and their lopsided victory over a very, very good Serbia team proves that point). However, we’re confident that some agressive play near the goal from striker Nick Cave and some top-notch defense from the horn section will ultimately be what lifts us past Ghana.

Group D Match 3: Which track did you prefer?

  • GHANA: Wulomai 60%
  • AUSTRALIA: The Birthday Party 40%

Total Voters: 63

Poll closes: 24 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis Unbelievable Jeff! Very surprised to see the Australians going for the very veteran striker up front in only their second match, but we also know that familiarity often breeds contempt in the voting public especially against such a smooth, well-drilled Ghanaian side as this (even if their manager has started referring to himself in the third person ;)). It’s a big risk, but will it pay off?

RESULT! Argentina 0, South Korea 1. Good victory here for the Koreans over a muscular and not untuneful Argentinian side and a bit of a shock for some pundits who thought this looked destined for the draw, but it’s still all to play for in this very tight group. “Korea [are] playing to their strengths here.” “I’m sure I shouldn’t like the Argentinian track as much as I do. It must be the wurlitzer quietly playing in the background?” “flawless play from the Koreans. “Flawless” doesn’t always win at this level, however, inspiration and dumb luck being crucial as well”

Coming up: Today’s delayed Germany Serbia match sees Serbia fighting to stay in the competition, can they beat the always solid Germans?


  1. 1
    Pete on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Australia, WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I don’t think the Ghana tune pushes boundaries beyond expectations, (no Sarkodie!) but is perfectly nice Afropop. But frankly they could have put on a three minute independence speech by Nkrumah and beating this effort from the Australians!

  2. 2
    Ewan on 18 Mar 2010 #

    I am sensing there is a certain, what to call it… *antipathy* towards the Australian striker from the crowd…

  3. 3
    Matt DC on 18 Mar 2010 #

    The only man in black on the pitch should be the referee. Then again I do like some Nick Cave and I’m not familiar with this song so it may yet get my vote.

  4. 4
    mm on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Excuse the terminology, but isn’t this what they refer to as an ‘onside kick’ in that other game?

  5. 5
    Tom on 18 Mar 2010 #

    I admit I thought this particular striker was serving a life ban after his horror tackle on Kylie several seasons ago. But maybe this will be a story of pop redemption.

    (Actually it’s only later Nick Cave I don’t like – pretty much all his 80s stuff that I know is good by me, sometimes brilliant: don’t remember this one from the one Birthday Party thing I own, so I will go into it with hopeful expectation!)

  6. 6
    thefatgit on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Putting the Pop World Cup aside, for a brief second to inform that a force for good within World Music has passed away. RIP Charlie Gillett.

    Charlie was a mainstay of BBC Radio 3 and BBC World Service. A champion of World Music, and a gentleman to boot. He was 68.

  7. 7
    Tom on 18 Mar 2010 #

    RIP Charlie Gillett, and a good thread/project to mention it on.

    Back to the game: there *is* plenty of power in that Australian back line but most eyes will be on the striker, who is having a moody game, kicking out at defenders, snarling at the fourth official and generally angling for an early bath. Good tabloid fodder but he’s as likely to score at his own end as Ghana’s.

    The Aussie antics might distract you from a Ghana performance which I think is better than solid – no Sarkodie but there is one of the tournament’s fullest sounding rhythm sections and a keyboard riff with a tantalising resemblance to Ghostbusters.

  8. 8
    Matt DC on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Hah, I immediately thought of Ghostbusters as well. This Ghana team I think is solid rather than spectacular, I’ve heard better pieces of afro-pop while researching Nigeria. Enjoyable enough though.

    The Australian team selection may serve as a cautionary tale for anyone tempted to take a kneejerk response to criticism. The team has covered the full spectrum from brash and preppy to gothy and stroppy in the space of one game, perhaps some middleground might have worked better. Voting Ghana.

  9. 9
    Pete Baran on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Yes the Ghostbuster link did not go unnoticed earlier too. Sorry to see Charlie go. I only met him once, but he was a lovely, generous guy in that meeting, really keen on getting more people to listen to more things, like them or not. Really got how to do inclusive passion for music. A little sad that Dire Straits may be seen to be his lasting legacy (not really – clearly his Capital show will be the legacy I take away from him.

  10. 10
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Ghana’s agile playing is a joy to behold and a stark contrast to the cynical and ineffective aggression of the Australians. I see Ghana winning this easily given the opportunities for free kicks and penalties.

  11. 11
    koganbot on 19 Mar 2010 #

    The Australian game plan displays the side’s contempt for the paltry stereotypes of “reality,” demonstrating that they are visionary-based not reality-based, being inspired more by the dark scratch of dark ground than by the bright eyes of daylight. Unsympathetic commentators might claim that the lead striker doesn’t know what he’s doing, but others will assert that he knows very well what he’s doing (just doesn’t know how to do it). It’s a moot point here, since the Ghanaians prevent him from touching the ball, playing a beautiful game of subtle passes and counterpasses, invulnerable to specters much less Australians.

  12. 12
    Garry on 19 Mar 2010 #

    Two Australian players, two obvious ones. Where’s the unknown players there to unexpectedly set the world alight? (Personally, if I picked a player from this generation, I’d choose the Laughing Clowns. )

  13. 13
    weej on 19 Mar 2010 #

    For the first time in the competition I’m not inspired to vote for or against either track. Another Nick Cave track could’ve done it for me, Into My Arms possibly, or Red Right Hand. Ghana sound fairly generic aside from the (possibly) keytar.

  14. 14
    Brimstone on 19 Mar 2010 #

    Hmm? What’s not to like about 90% of things Nick Cave has done?
    Been a fan even before I got exiled to Australia
    this isn’t his best song but its still got energy, darkness, and humor in spades

  15. 15
    Birdseed on 19 Mar 2010 #

    The Australian game is thoroughly unpleasant – skulking, full of dirty tricks, deeply entrenched in a zone defence that might produce results but makes for a particularly unappetizing game. Ghana, meanwhile, have fielded a team of veterans trying to recreate past glories, always a risky strategy – but that willowy synthesizer midfielder keeps the passing game flowing, and the Australians really can’t seem to cope.

    Ambivalent about Gillett. “Sounds of the City” is a great book without rockist myth-making, one of my favourite general pop histories, but the stuff he did as doyen of exoticising, western-market-led “world music” was pretty horrifying.

  16. 16
    Garry on 19 Mar 2010 #

    I must say the Ghana team leaves me rather cold. They seems rather too polite and cautious in the face of nasty Nick’s Vinny Jones routine.

  17. 17
    tonya on 19 Mar 2010 #

    I think we need a U20 Pop World Cup.

  18. 18
    Jonathan Bogart on 22 Mar 2010 #

    Australia all the way. Ghana is perfectly pleasant but not more, and their opponents offer the best use of a brass line we’ve had yet in the games.

  19. 19
    Lex on 22 Mar 2010 #

    :o @ AUS

    GHA don’t do anything particularly special to win but still come away with a 5-0 final score, all AUS own goals.

    (I do like one Nick Cave album, The Boatman’s Call, ie the one where he sounds nothing like Nick Cave.)

  20. 20
    jeff w on 22 Mar 2010 #

    A bit harsh on the Aussie defense from the FR manager there. That’s a solid bass line and punchy horn section (could it be horns rather than flutes that become the PWC10 motif?). Can’t see that lot shipping many goals – and they’re equally capable of turning defense into attack. But we can probably agree that the striker is the weak link here. There now, look, he’s just trod on the ball and punctured it.

    Ghana meanwhile doing more than enough to get a win here. As Roger Bozack said on the radio on Saturday, I could listen to this sort of music all day.

  21. 21
    wichita lineman on 23 Mar 2010 #

    Forgetting the age or whatnot of the familiar striker, Australia edge this due to rugged defensive brass section – not pretty but effective – and some deft runs from the late, highly original guitarist Rowland S Howard.

  22. 22
    Tim on 24 Mar 2010 #

    Just a few hours to go before this one closes (midnight tonight UK time, or shortly thereafter).

  23. 23
    Tim on 25 Mar 2010 #

    It’s Ghana! By a whisker! Broke Australian hearts with the last kick of the game.

  24. 24
    Matt DC on 25 Mar 2010 #

    All Ghanaian eyes will be on the Germany vs Serbia game then, those two sharing the spoils would see Ghana become the first team through to the next round. At a canter, too.

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