23
Apr 10

Pop World Cup Update & Ro16 Preview

FT6 comments • 217 views

So after nearly three months of managerial mind games and exciting encounters the group stage is finally complete. Sixteen sides have been eliminated and sixteen sides remain. To confirm, the draw for the second round is as follows:

1. South Africa vs Korea Republic
2. Nigeria vs France
3. USA vs Germany
4. Ghana vs Slovenia
5. Netherlands vs Paraguay
6. New Zealand vs Cameroon
7. Portugal vs Honduras
8. Spain vs Cote d’Ivoire

Ecstasy: Honduran pop fans party on the streets, Ghana's glee at winning streak

We’ve had a few shocks in the tournament so far – much fancied teams like England, Brazil, Japan and Italy crashing out while relative minnows Slovenia and Honduras have endured, and not just because the fans love an underdog or surprise package. As unlucky as some sides were not to progress, those that have did so on merit. Of course the draw, both on paper and in practice, has been more favourable to some than others but that’s all in the game.

Agony: European champs Switzerland aghast at flopping, sadfaces all round in the Argentina camp

The imminent Round of 16 sees no all-European clashes, with only five out of thirteen European sides remaining. In general the lack of intercontinental ties at this stage demonstrates how Pop is the true global game. As far as continental integrity and fan favour goes, Africa lead with five out of six sides still in the contest. Each one can be considered a strong contender to go all the way. Ghana’s 100% record (being the only team to win all three of their group matches) in particular is not to be sniffed at but other teams are only just starting to hit form and we could see even better performances from those who saved their best just for if or when they really needed it. That time is now, as a draw is no longer enough and a higher share of the vote is a WIN no matter how narrow.

Follow the results on the Pop World Cup site, keep listening and voting in the matches as they appear on Freaky Trigger and we welcome feedback from all spectators.

Comments

  1. 1
    Tom Lawrence on 23 Apr 2010 #

    That would be the lack of INTRAcontinetal ties, Steve. “intercontinental” means “between different continents”, as in “intercontinental ballistic missile”

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and pick some nits.

  2. 2
    Steve Mannion on 23 Apr 2010 #

    I thank you.

  3. 3
    Alan not logged in on 23 Apr 2010 #

    can you believe it, 48 matches over. 16 left. yet football maths tells you WE’RE ONLY HALF WAY THERE.

  4. 4
    thefatgit on 23 Apr 2010 #

    None of those draws are easy to call. I’m relishing the prospect of what’s to come.

  5. 5
    Ben on 28 Apr 2010 #

    I’ve just filled in my wall chart, and a couple of things I noticed:

    – Pity the poor North Koreans. No-one expected them to make any mark whatsoever on this tournament, yet their votes total was beaten by only four other countries (Netherlands, Portugal, Ghana and Spain) all of whom won their respective groups. So fans in Pyongyang are understandably gutted that the team are coming home early after Portugal’s late winner over Brazil.

    – Likewise, the Argentinians, who finished level on points with South Korea, and with a higher votes total, but were never likely to qualify after losing the clash between the two sides.

    – Ghana had the only 100% record, and pleasingly, every single team registered at least a point. Italy’s 46 votes was the lowest total, whilst Mexico received an excellent 82 votes, yet still only picked up one draw.

    Bring on Rd 2.

  6. 6

    The DPRK camp responds:

    “Victorious greetings from the Hermit Kingdom! We deplore and disdain your pity! Naturally the corrupt Western camp ran this so-called “competition” to suit their own puling designs. Our triumph was is and will continue to be as moral as it is scientific. ALL SHALL LOVE US AND DEBAG.”

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