Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group E – Netherlands 2 Japan 0

FT/27 comments • 863 views

Crossing the mid-point of the second group round, if the Netherlands can get a win here a place in the last sixteen is within their grasp whilst Japan will hoping to build on their first game to push it just that little further to secure all three points.

Voting on this match finishes at midnight on the 28th March.

NETHERLANDS: Diggy Dex ft. Eva de Roovere – “Slaap Lekker (Fantastig Toch)” The Manager Says: Some controversy possible here as we have co-opted substitute Eva from Belgium, but it’s not like she had any chance of making it on the big stage with them, and main man Diggy (er… main man Dex?) is undoubtedly Dutch. After the cautious approach to the first game paid massive dividends we’re not quite going Total Pop but are playing in a way that’s clearly full of confidence and having a great time. The title means “Sleep Well” and beyond that… no idea.

JAPAN: Shugo Tokamaru – “Parachute” The Manager Says: After a tough first match, both me and the team know that a big performance is needed. This has come from the deployment of our secret star player Shugo Tokamaru, with support coming from the many supporting layers that can be found in his music. Shugo has the ability to lull the opposition into a false sense of security, but the chorus, catchy hooks, and upbeat nature will soon tire them out.

Group E Match 3: Which of the tracks did you prefer?

  • NETHERLANDS - Diggy Dex 66%
  • JAPAN - Shugo Tokumaru 34%

Total Voters: 70

Poll closes: 28 Mar 2010 @ 23:58

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Commentary Box Analysis Is this euro-rap’s debut in the tournament so far? Nice work from Eva here, keeping the ball moving from back to front in midfield whilst Diggy is full of running up and down the wings. Japan, on the other hand, go for a much more intricate set-up, redolent of the Cornelius line-up of the early 00s, although they do seem to be singing about bra shoes… Nicely contrasting tracks, but which will get the crowd up on their feet?

RESULT! Slovenia 1 USA 1. Very very close here and slovenia just miss out on the win, their centre forward blazing over the bar when it looked easier to score. “The first track is unqualifiedly good and I’d be on the dance floor the whole eight minutes, the second has potential but leans precipitously into that unfortunate hipster area that mistakes randomness for energy and hooks”, “I’m another one who’s not feeling a great “Hello!” from the front line, and the Slovenes are both relentless and subtly varied” “I don’t think anyone can really match the Americans on this infectious form” “Tough luck for SLO – that was terrifically banging and this was possibly the best heat yet”

Coming Next Danish hearts could be broken if they fail to beat Cameroon, it’s a real crunch match as we finish off the second round of matches in Group E…


  1. 1
    FC Ljubljana but logged out innit on 22 Mar 2010 #

    Great match here – high scoring with some delicate touches from JPN that weren’t obvious from their last match, and NED showing that their flair can be applied to all sorts of tactics. I don’t think I could pick a winner here, Brian.

  2. 2
    Lex on 22 Mar 2010 #

    High quality and unexpected tactics from both teams – really tough to pick a winner. My favourite moments are when the NED girl is crooning, but why oh why must Euro rappers sound so goddamned naff and dorky? JPN’s track isn’t as immediate, but it walks a fine line between delicate loveliness and saccharine tweeness, and falls on the right side. I love the little breakdowns with the descending chords.

  3. 3
    Matt DC on 22 Mar 2010 #

    I’ll be watching the reaction to the Dutch track with interest, as one of my potential tracks for the next game also contains a guest appearance from a non-competing nation. And Holland and Belgium share international tournament hosting duties as it is.

  4. 4
    Tom on 22 Mar 2010 #

    Japan’s manager sticking to his guns and continuing to avoid the J-Pop people might have expected but his strategy’s looking wiser as the tournament progresses. Why force your players into an unfamiliar formation when they’re so good at what they do know?

    I don’t know if it’ll get him all 3 points, for me he’s got enough to get past the Dutch track, which is a lot more restrained than the Eurorap I’ve usually seen (and, erm, played) in these competitions but lacks that extra X-Factor of prettiness the Japanese play has.

  5. 5
    Alberto on 22 Mar 2010 #

    The rapper does sound a bit “naff and dorky”, but De Roovere really saves the song. This makes her selection, a Belgian in the Dutch team, the more controversial, of course.

  6. 6
    Alberto on 22 Mar 2010 #

    That said, I enjoy the Dutch track more, so it will probably get my vote.

  7. 7
    Matt DC on 22 Mar 2010 #

    Neither of these are exactly keepers for me, maybe it’s mid-tournament fatigue, but the prettiness of the Japan entry beats Holland, whose players look like they’re being forced into a formation they’re really not suited to. I’m not a fan of Lily Allen and fielding a Allenalike for the second game running is a bit much, plus Dutch really isn’t a language suited to rapping.

  8. 8
    mm on 22 Mar 2010 #

    Japan’s selection feels a little ‘nothing-y’, and the dutch performance is equally lightweight, although contrary to the opinion above I think the texture of the dutch language is kind of interesting rapped.

  9. 9
    weej on 23 Mar 2010 #

    Japan are playing a very pleasant to watch game here. Dutch rapping just doesn’t do it for me, I’m afraid.

  10. 10
    lonepilgrim on 23 Mar 2010 #

    I have to confess this commentator drifted off during this match such was the lack of pace and passion from both sides. Each team seem too afraid of losing the ball to risk tackling the other side. Only NEDs Dex shows any sign of aggression and that might just give his team the edge.

  11. 11
    Birdseed on 24 Mar 2010 #

    Japan is passing around the ball intuitively and with plenty of flow, in what seems to be a big circle in the middle, round and round and round, each player flowing about on the pitch sometimes precisely, sometimes haphazardly. It’s kinda fun but it doesn’t produce anything like either attack or defence, and since the Dutch side seems to have given up and is panting at the sidelines that is a bit of a surprise. Still, Japan might end up there eventually, unlike Holland.

  12. 12
    Rob Hakimian on 24 Mar 2010 #

    The Dutch team is big and bulky and out to punish but Japan have the skill and fancy footwork that outdoes anything Holland can throw at them.

  13. 13
    logged out Tracer Hand on 27 Mar 2010 #

    There’s a funny computer noise in the middle of the Diggy Dex song – IIRC it signifies “I’ve finished converting your mp3s!” At first I thought it was a manager’s stumble but upon review it’s possibly part of the song? A bleep for a swear possibly?

    The more I listen to that track the more I like it, actually. Diggy has been studying his Beatnuts.

  14. 14
    Iain on 27 Mar 2010 #

    It’s also the default text tone for the iPhone, which I’m guessing it’s used as in this case.

  15. 15
    koganbot on 28 Mar 2010 #

    I find the Dutch rapper rather pleasant, though he’s most effective setting up the striker, who lofts gorgeous shot after gorgeous shot, enough going in to defeat an intricately pretty but not quite forceful enough Japanese squad.

  16. 16
    jeff w on 28 Mar 2010 #

    Both managers here have their tactics right – in the sense that they’ve picked genres of “foreign” pop I have a strong predeliction for. I like the interplay between the Dutch rapper and his coo-ing Belgian strike partner. Japan meanwhile are beguiling, a chilled out Cornelius (as someone already mentioned up thread).

    It’s real hard to pick a winner and I’ll be downloading both of these. Japan need the points more though and, based on the manager’s tactics so far I’m keen to see them progress further in the competition.

  17. 17
    Jonathan Bogart on 29 Mar 2010 #

    Too late! Stupid time difference. Oh well, I was going to vote for Japan.

  18. 18
    Tim on 29 Mar 2010 #

    Congrats to the Netherlands on maintaining their 100% record.

  19. 19
    Pete on 29 Mar 2010 #

    Wow, another surprising result. I though Japan was slightly better, more slightly than this result suggests.

  20. 20
    Tom Schaller on 29 Mar 2010 #

    How on earth did the Dutch get such a comfortable victory here? This is a footballing travesty.

  21. 21
    Alan on 29 Mar 2010 #

    REFEREE! let’s storm this pitch! :-(

  22. 22
    Alan on 29 Mar 2010 #

    looking at the crowd, there’s the uneasy feeling that many may have been BUSSED IN

  23. 23
    weej on 29 Mar 2010 #

    This looks like the old Italian “take a dive in the area and score a penalty with a minute to go” strategy. It’s just not Pop Cricket.

  24. 24
    Matt DC on 29 Mar 2010 #

    So it turns out Diggy Dex himself posted the link to this on his Twitter, and Japan didn’t stand a chance after that.

  25. 25
    Rob Hakimian on 29 Mar 2010 #

    Match fixing!!

  26. 26
    Tom on 29 Mar 2010 #

    The crowd were a 12th man, sucking the ball into the net. I voted for Japan so I feel sorry for them – we had a similar situation with a Portugese track in the Europop tournament though.

  27. 27
    Steve Mannion on 29 Mar 2010 #

    A sea of orange in the stands, increasing dramatically in the second half thanks to the players on the pitch googling themselves during the match and drumming up additional support. Some say they shouldn’t be allowed shirt pockets for their iphones but I welcome such enterprising initiative within the rules – let it be an example to all.

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