Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group G – Ivory Coast 3 Portugal 1

FT//20 comments • 987 views

With the defending Pop World Cup champions Czech Republic failing to qualify for this year’s tournament, Portugal are the most successful 2006 team represented here. Managed by Job de Wit, they open Group G with a game against the Ivory Coast, in whose dugout sits Wichita Lineman of Popular comments crew fame.

Let’s vote! You have until midnight on March 7th to pick a winner here.

IVORY COAST: Bab Lee – “Tropical Mix (Sous Les Cocotiers)” The manager says – “All out attack. Melody is left on the bench as rhythmic nous, constantly switching wingplay, the best two-note hook since Boredom, and enough energy to last until the 95th minute are deployed to undo the Portuguese.”

PORTUGAL: Mikado Lab – “Takket” The manager says – “It’s not often that exceptional pop music from Portugal reaches the rest of the world. The music sung in Portuguese that everyone loves almost without exception comes, of course, from its former colony Brazil. Fittingly, Lisbon fourpiece Mikado Lab isn’t really a pop band, and they don’t have a singer. The gorgeous “Takket” comes from last year’s Coração Pneumático, one of two albums released by the band in 2009. Theirs is a Stereolabby kind of jazz, with hints of both Bach and the Beach Boys. Keyboardist Ana Araújo plays a melody as simple as it sounds irresistable, with bandleader and drummer Marco Franco keeping the rhythm light yet insistent. ”

Group G Match 1: Which track did you prefer?

  • Ivory Coast: Bab Lee 71%
  • Portugal: Mikado Lab 31%

Total Voters: 55

Poll closes: 7 Mar 2010 @ 23:50

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Commentary Box Analysis: “Ivory Coast are playing a constant pressing game all over the pitch: Portugal are doing their best to keep the tempo down and build attacks. I don’t think either side is playing with a recognised striker but there’s enough skill and innovative tactics on show here to satisfy any real lover of the game. Fascinating match.”

RESULT: Denmark 1 Holland 4: Spirited effort from the Danes but they ultimately had no answers to this well-drilled, slick Dutch side. “Great stuff from NED – love her poise and sense of timing. It’s a big tune, but she doesn’t overplay it – she holds back, it’s all in the details of her phrasing, her judicious pauses and “mm-hmm”s.” The Dutch track is another order of quality, the song itself isn’t all that interesting but she tackles it with the right kind of lacksadaiscal aplomb.” “Sukkerchok has a great melody, though, and delivery too I think. It’s classic stuff, for sure, but performed with enough self-confidence and pizzaz to thrill.” “TULIP ALLEN! DO YOU SEE?”

Coming Next! TREMBLE O WEST as North Korea put the correct pop thought of the great leader to the test against the samba skills of Brazil tomorrow. Then on Thursday Chile play Honduras – battle of the minnows? Or will they be able to spring a surprise?


  1. 1
    mm on 1 Mar 2010 #

    The Ivory Coast track would fit nicely on a soundtrack to Super Mario Sunshine, while the portuguese candidate fits better with the underwater levels of Super Mario World.

  2. 2
    Kat but logged out innit on 1 Mar 2010 #

    More cowbell!

  3. 3
    lonepilgrim on 1 Mar 2010 #

    Their high energy levels and reliance on set plays might suggest that IC are an easy team to read but could lull their opponents into a false sense of security. Portugal on the other hand counter by slowing the pace and passing the ball around, waiting for a lapse in concentration from the other side.
    Hard to call this one, but I suspect a draw.

  4. 4
    Alan on 1 Mar 2010 #

    sort of dittoing mm’s comment – it’s an ALL MIDI FILE MATCH

  5. 5
    Matt DC on 1 Mar 2010 #

    It’s not often you see two teams at this level going at each other without a typical centre forward, but hey, France managed to win the World Cup with Stéphane Guivarc’h upfront, so anything’s possible. Add to that there have been several moments this tournament when I’ve wished the manager had left the vocalist on the bench, I’m not complaining.

    Rudimentary sonics benefit both teams here, what they lack in craftsmanship they gain in charm. This is stunning play from the Ivory Coast though, fast, fluent, powerful and incessant. I like Portugal’s woozy cocktail bar instrumental quite a lot, and would have voted for it against a lot of other tracks, but Cote D’Ivoire are just overrunning them here.

  6. 6
    Ben on 1 Mar 2010 #

    Well, for me, that’s one of the goals of the tournament there by the Ivory Coast. Had me up and dancing in my seat here in the stadium in Port Elizabeth. Lovely fluidity to the build up play, and makes the finish look easy. They deserve the 3 points for that.

  7. 7
    Birdseed on 1 Mar 2010 #

    Not one to push any rules here, but might I suggest that the Ivorian team (while easily one of the top-three most impressive sides of the tournament so far) smells a touch… Parisy? Is Bab Lee really eligible?

    Meanwhile I’m so voting for it.

  8. 8
    Garry on 2 Mar 2010 #

    For me, Ivory Coast run and run, skirting down the touchline in a flash, but their crosses end up in Row Z. Anyone remembers Forest’s Chris Allen in the 90s? Headless chickens.

    However, a goal is inevitable. Portugal are rather lethagic, passing the ball around the back four, their midfield passing square. Ivory Coast continually cut out passes, and after 25 shots in the general direction of the goal finally a couple go in.

  9. 9
    The Clapton Pond Regeneration Project on 2 Mar 2010 #

    Re 7: A lot of coupe-decale was made by Ivorian expats in Paris and then spread back to the homeland where it really took off… but your man Bab Lee is an Ivorian boy. Google says. It’s got my vote. I think using more than two notes in a song is cheating.

  10. 10
    Matt DC on 2 Mar 2010 #

    I think if you’re from Cote D’Ivoire via Paris you probably qualify to play for either country, technically. Same as in football.

  11. 11
    jeff w on 2 Mar 2010 #

    Am daunted by the sheer size of the IC players (14.1 MB!!) so have been concentrating on the Portuguese thus far. Their manager makes some bold comparisons in the pre-match team talk but, you know what? I think the players live up to the expectations created. Intriguing stuff.

  12. 12
    JimD on 2 Mar 2010 #

    Hmm, is Bab Lee real? Or did somebody just plug a ds into a tape recorder then play the first three stages of Space Invaders Extreme? Either way, the IC track sounds like a scratched and skipping copy of The Birdie Song, and is therefore a winner.

  13. 13
    koganbot on 3 Mar 2010 #

    Right. This seems to be one of those avant garde officiating crews who have instructed their linesmen to rethink the potentially outmoded dichotomy between “in play” and “out of play.” Meanwhile, the Ivory Coast have invited Dr. Mesmer as special midfielders coach, unaware that he is now suffering (or gifted with, depending on your point of view) attention deficit disorder. “Repetition”-“change” reveals itself as yet another outworn dichotomy. The crowd is initially hostile towards the Portuguese decision to eliminate the dream in dream pop, but we in the analysis booth find the strategy to be a canny adaptation to Doc Mesmer. Not sure where the goals will come from here, but Portugal seems to have a better instinct for where the net actually resides.

  14. 14
    Steve Mannion on 3 Mar 2010 #

    “Mario Bros underwater level” is a lovely description for ‘Takket’ and I might have to side with it on that basis. The CIV players baffle the opponents with a 0-0-10 formation – fine if they can keep the ball in Portugal’s box…which the Portugese actually seem pretty cool with, countering with 10-0-0.

    With 20 men in the POR area and a heavy mountain fog descending upon this game played at high altitude I’m not sure anyone can see the ball. Perhaps the first goal-less draw of the tournament is nigh…

  15. 15
    Lex on 3 Mar 2010 #

    I have loved the CIV track for a while now and am eagerly anticipating lots more coupé-décalé – the sheer loose energy of it is ridiculously good. The moment two-and-a-half minutes in where, having ground the two-note riff into your head and feet, it suddenly goes UP! to a new melody, and then for good measure chucks a load more cowbells in, is incredible. Funny how I first heard it a few years ago, but it actually fits better into 2010’s global dance landscape, what with Africa and Jamaica and the UK all borrowing from each other. Funky MCs and JA dancehall artists, these beats are calling your names. Anyway, file this as probably the joint best entry thus far alongside FRA’s last submission.

    POR sounds like a noodly interlude on an electrodribble album. Not horrible, but just insubstantial.

  16. 16
    Martin Skidmore on 5 Mar 2010 #

    The CIV team is very entertaining and full of energy, against a Portugese lite-jazz formation where the star player that makes it come alive has been unaccountably omitted, leaving them rudderless.

  17. 17
    Tom on 6 Mar 2010 #

    Deserves lots more votes this – you have till the end of the weekend!

  18. 18
    Tom on 7 Mar 2010 #

    STILL deserves lots more votes – get the voters out, managers!

  19. 19
    Jonathan Bogart on 7 Mar 2010 #

    No contest; Côte d’Ivoire just mop the field with their competition, and this from a man who’d be rooting for Portugal any other day. The strikerless formations put me off a bit at first — I suppose I’m a traditionalist at heart — but energy and precision win out over muted prettiness any day.

  20. 20
    Tom on 8 Mar 2010 #

    The automatic scoreboard seems to have the total score at 102%, which is the amount of effort the players gave out there Brian. But however the percentages are sliced this is a convincing win for C d’I over (I thought) quite strong opposition.

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