Apr 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group A – France 1 South Africa 1

FT/30 comments • 777 views

Real Actual Crunch Time here, in the first real decider of the tournament. South Africa only need a point to be sure of qualification but France are in a mathematical nightmare. They could win and still go out, or lose and go through, depending on what exactly happens in the other match, every percentage point and vote will be absolutely vital, even South Africa aren’t through yet! Due to the incredibly high standard of play across the competition this is something we’re going to have to get used to over the next fortnight, and I can’t help thinking there may be some tactical voting from the managers and their supporters…

This match closes at midnight on Sunday 11th April

FRANCE: Magazine 60 – “Don Quichotte” The Manager Says: “No press conference as I have no idea who these people are apart from that they’re French and this track is old.”

SOUTH AFRICA: Chimora – “Eli Eli” The Manager Says: “The team are still full of energy. Our play will be exuberant and so will our goal celebrations!”

Group A Match 6: Which of these tracks do you prefer?

  • SOUTH AFRICA: Chimora 51%
  • FRANCE: Magazine 60 49%

Total Voters: 53

Poll closes: 11 Apr 2010 @ 23:00

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Commentary Box Analysis Well, as you can tell from both managers very brief statements, they’re hoping their teams will do the talking out on the pitch. It feels to me that both sides have looked for an influence from the land of cattenaccio, Gattuso and, let’s not forget, four previous world cup wins, there’s definitely an Italian tinge to both efforts here. It’ll be interesting to see if the crowd go more for the cosmic italo disco or the often unfairly maligned big cheesy italo house piano riff. Let’s hope the French aren’t tilting at windmills (sorry, had to get it in somewhere…).

Coming up Both Group B games tomorrow, if Nigeria and South Korea play out a draw, it doesn’t matter what Argentina and Greece do, but it’s the most difficult result to play for, especially at this level of international competition where one litle misstep can see you going home in disgrace and one brief moment of genius can see you lauded and through to the next round.


  1. 1
    Tom on 6 Apr 2010 #

    ohhh who sampled the French track, quite recently I think? That bit at 2’30 or so?

  2. 2
    CarsmileSteve on 6 Apr 2010 #


    right, this is how it works:

    South Africa: Win or Draw, group winners, Lose go through unless the combination of their defeat and uruguay’s victory is more than 40 percentage points

    France and Uruguay: If Uruguay lose by less than 34% France are through regardless. If Uruguay Draw or Win, France must match their result to within 8% (so if Uruguay get an 80% win, France would need at least a 72% win). We *could* end up on the same percentage score and so go to votes cast (although we might have to go to decimal places on the percentages)!

    Mexico: Must beat Uruguay and hope the French lose to the South africans by a combined total of more than 34%

  3. 3
    Steve Mannion on 6 Apr 2010 #

    Tom the sample is from will.i.am’s ‘Got It From My Mama’!

  4. 4
    Lex on 6 Apr 2010 #

    On the same album he sampled Booka Shade, in the brief window when it seemed like he was turning into an interesting producer (the Fergie album, Ciara’s “Get In, Fit In”, Estelle’s “Wait A Minute” and “American Boy”, Flo Rida’s “In The Ayer”) (that window has pretty much slammed shut, I think – this is my deep hatred of “I Gotta Feeling” speaking here).

    This is obviously the BEST MATCH EVAH but I am very pleased with the route I took for my selection :)

  5. 5
    katstevens on 6 Apr 2010 #

    Great flowing play from both sides. I really enjoyed this match!

  6. 6
    lonepilgrim on 6 Apr 2010 #

    There’s much to enjoy from both sides. SA maintain a spirited performance but a lapse from the front line near half time exposes a fragile defence. Whether France can take advantage of this is unclear as they suffer a similar breakdown at the same time. Their forward players change style from moment to moment in attempt to mix things up but they risk confusing themselves as much as the opposition. Nevertheless the team has grown in confidence since their disappointing debut and I hope to see them win this and give them the chance to show even greater prowess in the next rounds.

  7. 7
    mm on 6 Apr 2010 #

    Both start out strong, but by the half time break it all feels a bit aimless. I prefer teams with clearer goals (no pun intended) and more firepower.

  8. 8
    logged-out Tracer Hand on 6 Apr 2010 #

    I can’t help but wonder if the SA track choice is a personal appeal. I regret that I have but one vote to give for this, or any country..

  9. 9
    koganbot on 6 Apr 2010 #

    I KNOW THIS SONG! I KNOW THIS SONG! I am speaking of “Don Quichotte,” which I will now put into social context for the benefit of the French manager. It is Track Two Side Two on Hits Collection ’86, which I got at a Mexican record store in the Mission in the early ’90s, which means, since this track apparently is French, it is Italodisco. Or Europop. As you might imagine, ’80s Europop on cheap compilations from the Mission and Chinatown was my way of coping with a recent divorce. I retaped the best tracks and sent them on cassette to Chuck Eddy.

    Other highlights from Hits Collection ’86 are the Flirts’ “Voulez-Vous,” which is from Miami, therefore is Italodisco or Europop. And Ken Laszlo’s “Tonight,” I don’t know where it’s from, which means it’s Italodisco. Or Europop. Finzy Kontini’s “O La La,” which is surely Italodisco or Europop. And J.D. Hall’s “No. 1 Lover.” Italodisco, no doubt, or Europop.

  10. 10
    koganbot on 6 Apr 2010 #

    I don’t speak all the languages, but the plot of “Don Quichotte” most likely concerns Jack Nicholson in The Passenger changing his itinerary day by day and perpetually trying to reach Avis representative “Don Quichotte” to inform him of each change. Brilliant misdirection, which adapts well to the soccer field. But the South Africans are hardly nonplussed, as they lope authoritatively up and downfield, with great tunage and wiggling of hips. At midway this match is too close to call.

  11. 11
    jeff w on 6 Apr 2010 #

    I feared the worst from FRA after the first few minutes. Too cheesy, Lex! But after a few minutes it settles into its stride and becomes quite winning. I think I’m going to love this after a few plays. RSA exceeds my self-imposed MB limit for d/l’s so I shall have to wait until Saturday to hear this one.

  12. 12
    Matt DC on 6 Apr 2010 #

    Terrific game this. Both teams have copied the tactics of great Italian teams of yesteryear and have come out with something irresistable. At the moment France’s italo-disco is winning out over South Africa’s hands-in-the-air piano house but it’s fantastic stuff from both sides.

    The jury’s out on this one – it could be a high-scoring draw, which would be enough for SA but send France out. And if they’re on the first plane home, it’ll be the 149 Dalston Airline that responsible for sending them back.

  13. 13
    Martin Skidmore on 7 Apr 2010 #

    A pleasant game, but I can’t really choose between them, so will abstain despite liking both – the opposite reason from what caused me to abstain in the other final group A game.

  14. 14
    Tom Schaller on 8 Apr 2010 #

    Would have to vote for South Africa here in any case to sustain my admittedly anaemic chances of actually going through, but it’s not hard when the French track is as shoddy as this. South Africa on the other hand, have got a bit of oomph behind them.

  15. 15
    weej on 9 Apr 2010 #

    I’m going to have to go for France here, for novelty value as well as enjoyability. The SA track isn’t bad at first, but after the two-minute mark I was waiting for it to finish, and that’s never a good sign.

  16. 16
    logged-out Tracer Hand on 9 Apr 2010 #

    Stunning change of tactics from the French side at halftime here, and it turns out to mesh very nicely with the rest of their game. But that classic piano riff from SA is irrestistable. Very hard to choose but the silly playacting in the FR song nudge it just over the goal-line for me.

  17. 17
    Steve Mannion on 9 Apr 2010 #

    Of all the games so far this one has to be one of the best I’ve heard. Very much like both tracks to the point where my decision may have to be based on both side’s performance in the group overall. That might just give South Africa the edge…but I do think both teams deserve to go through (based on my enjoyment of the play) and it’s France who need the points more so…argh. A draw looks more likely here than in the other Group A although that seems pretty even as things stand too…this is a thrilling showdown for all four teams.

  18. 18
    iainf on 11 Apr 2010 #

    Like how both are playing, but France have got that extra bit of invention and variety to their tactics which takes them over the edge.

  19. 19
    Alberto on 11 Apr 2010 #

    Like was said earlier in one of the comments (or maybe it was Roger Bozack in one of his excellent round-ups): if I was at a club or party and the French song came up, I’d think I might have a good time. With the South African song I would BE having a good time.

  20. 20
    Roger Bozack on 11 Apr 2010 #

    It was Peter Baran who said that, and it was a great point well made. Pete’s our senior pop football analyst for a reason, you know. And that reason is that I basically owe him a significant amount of money. Glad you’re liking the radio updates, Alberto!

  21. 21
    Tom on 12 Apr 2010 #

    We were expecting to lose this! That French track was a marvel! But a point will do us nicely – onwards to the knockout stage :)

  22. 22
    jeff w on 12 Apr 2010 #

    A draw is a fair result. I think I marginally prefer the RSA track, but FRA had enough charm to hold its own in a tough game.

  23. 23
    Pete on 12 Apr 2010 #

    So what do these results mean then?Where is Michel Platini / Sepp Blattered explaining the complex rules.

  24. 24
    Matt DC on 12 Apr 2010 #

    These were very closely matched, I’m not surprised by the draw in the slightest. That they were so closely matched probably made the difference for France in the end.

  25. 25
    CarsmileSteve on 12 Apr 2010 #

    results and placings coming up shortly (!!!) in the DEN/JPN match.

  26. 26
    JimD on 12 Apr 2010 #

    Wow, so close. And I have to admit that my South Africa vote was tactical, I actually like the French track a lot more, so if I’d been voting honestly that very slight balance would’ve tipped in the other direction.

  27. 27
    Tom on 12 Apr 2010 #

    Congratulations to France – our toughest group stage game and three excellent tracks in my opinion. Commiserations to Mexico and Uruguay – Los Dug Dug’s is a particular tournament favourite and I was very fond of “Break It Off” too.

  28. 28
    Lex on 12 Apr 2010 #

    Excellent! Relieved that I’m through though frankly too hungover to understand how the percentages have worked.

  29. 29
    Matt DC on 12 Apr 2010 #

    Sad to see Uruguay going home early, Los Shakers were a real moment of the tournament for me and it’s a shame they couldn’t quite sustain that momentum.

  30. 30
    Tom on 13 Apr 2010 #


    Just been reminded by the videofest on NZ-Paraguay to post the Chimora vid that made me fall for this track in the first place.

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