May 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Round of 16 Match 5 – Netherlands 3 Paraguay 1

FT/17 comments • 690 views

As we move into the second half of the Round of 16, we come across a game which may not have been an obvious highlight but, for PWC followers, has an intrigue all of its own. Iain F’s Netherlands team have been winning friends and matches with their smooth, easy-on-the-ear play; Talia’s Paraguayans weaved an unpredictable path through their group, touching on hair metal and a memorable cover of “Umbrella”. Anything could happen…

This match closes at midnight on Sunday 9th May.

NETHERLANDS: The Opposites & Big2 – “Licht Uit” The Manager Says: “Since we got a couple of fluke goals in the match against Japan, we weren’t able to tell if our laidback Eurorap formation would have been enough to win by normal means or not. I stand by my faith in it, though, and believe that we have the players to pull it off!”

PARAGUAY: Lopez – “Donde” The Manager Says: “Something a bit different…

Playing against a top scoring country like the Netherlands could rattle a team, but we’re renewed and ready to fight another battle. This time we’re taking a risk and putting forward our most modern formation yet. ‘Donde’ lays a vintage vocal over a hip wriggling bassline as one of the first releases from Paraguayan funk / nu disco outfit Lopez.”

Round of 16 Match 5: which track do you prefer?

  • NETHERLANDS - The Opposites & Big2 63%
  • PARAGUAY - Lopez 37%

Total Voters: 63

Poll closes: 9 May 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis Some strikers in the game of pop football have a deceptively languid style, and such players tend to divide fans’ – and pundits’ – opinions. The Netherlands have deployed two of these in one team, one of whom picks up the pace a little, later in the game. It’s a beguiling tactic, but will it be enough to win support from a Paraguay team with a strikingly fresh and youthful approach? The flashes of skill from the beligerent Paraguayan trombonist playing in the hole just behind the lone striker may be the key to their game.

Result! Round of Sixteen Match 1: Nigeria 3 – France 2 In a compelling game, both teams stuck to their principles in the belief that their approach had enough to overcome their opponents. It was a ding-dong battle, with goal and equaliser, goal and equaliser, until ultimately the Nigerians had the legs to run the full 90 minutes. It may well be looked back on as one of the games of the tournament, this one. “A very close thing for me – two excellent tracks. I listened a couple of times each, but the fun of the Nigerian track won out in the end for me.”;”This Poni Hoax track… AMAZING! Best thing I’ve heard in months!“;”The French striker slices through a seemingly strong Nigerian backline like so much beurre, the defenders not knowing whether to giggle at or be enchanted by her mannered moods“;”Awesome play from both teams there – but France just edges it for me because of that element of surprise, i thought i knew exactly where it was going from the first few beats but I was wrong – and delighted to be.“; “The French team played a game that’s so my style it could have been handmade in an atelier for me (it’s also totally a track that would call people ‘dollink’), but it does lack Nigeria’s call to the hips.

Coming up Onwards into the bottom half of the Round of 16, as New Zealand, coached into funky form by Steve M, take on a Cameroon side managed by Weston, whose press conferences are always worth a look and whose teams are always strong.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 3 May 2010 #

    The Paraguay team demonstrate a robust, syncopated style that draws on a rich heritage of Latin American play. They have the misfortune to be up against a Dutch team who are playing with confidence and passion. While both teams appear solid in defence the Dutch frontman’s deftness on the ball should see the NED team through.

  2. 2
    Ben on 3 May 2010 #

    This is lovely stuff from Paraguay, a style reminiscent of the great Pop World Cup sides of the 50s, but with a freshness and vitality that the Dutch simply can’t match.

  3. 3
    thefatgit on 3 May 2010 #

    The Paraguayans play with old-school sophistication and irresistable panache. I can’t resist their Strictly-Come-Winning attitude. Poor old Holland play neatly and attractively but where’s that killer finish?

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 3 May 2010 #

    Strong match this. The Netherlands haven’t had much hype around them but they’ve been quietly getting on with the job in hand and this is another excellent effort. In lesser hands this would seem like an obvious tactical choice but there’s a great melodic sensibility to this track. Paraguay certainly have verve but this formation is better suited to Saturday evening light entertainment than the upper echelons of world pop football.

  5. 5
    Tom on 4 May 2010 #

    I’m not sure about this Paraguay line-up: the 50s maybe, but there’s more than a touch of the 90s about them too – they’re one comical sample playmaker away from an appearance in the Rymans Big Beat League.

    The Dutch are playing some pretty, tippy-tappy football, but their slightness is deceptive – it’s not their best performance but it’s enough to see off Paraguay here.

  6. 6
    lockedintheattic on 4 May 2010 #

    What a shocker. After listening to the Dutch I really didn’t think there was any way the Paraguayans would get past (they’ve certainly raised their game since I lived there, when most dutch music was pretty awful) – and I even felt the same way as Lopez settled into the groove. But somehow they must have slipped a couple of goals in as I drifted off into their tropical haze as by the end of the record they’d emerged as a clear winner for me

  7. 7
    koganbot on 6 May 2010 #

    Paraguay is painting old Cuban murals atop a modern Euro-American dance beat, the result is like listening to paint dry, mesmerizingly slow paint, but at least somewhat effective. The Dutch respond with what we in the wordbiz call a “grower,” which means that everyone from strikers to ballboys are chosen for their anonymity, letting the system flow through them in its beauty, the belief being that this will produce hypnotism of its own. A thought-provoking match, one I go back and forth with, finally ending on a nod to Paraguay.

  8. 8
    Alberto on 7 May 2010 #

    The Dutch are laid back, but Paraguay even more so. They slow down the game, keep possession and comfortably pass the ball into the net to advance to the quarter finals.

  9. 9
    Cristina on 7 May 2010 #

    I can just see myself sitting on a porch with a thick cigar in one hand and a mojito in the other, listening to the Paraguayan track. The Dutch formation had me bobbing my head along to their consistent beat but it did not carry me away. My vote goes to Paraguay.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 7 May 2010 #

    Clear win for the South American stylists who are trying something new even in the dying minutes of the game, and a highly entertaining display. The Dutch track sounds pretty derivative, and although the nature of the Dutch language isn’t their fault, they do sound on the verge of a Frank Rijkaard gob into the opposition’s hair half the time.

  11. 11
    Tim on 9 May 2010 #

    This one closes at midnight tonight – vote! Please.

  12. 12
    jeff w registered on 9 May 2010 #

    Voted! For NED, which is the more immediate of the two. PAR reminds me of Senor Coconut a bit (= good), but falls down by being not synthetic enough. All those ‘real’ instruments brrrr… and yes, a bit too 90s Big Beat. The Dutch got a real tongue lashing from Mr So Called Senior Pop Analyst on the radio, but once again it’s a quietly effective performance.

  13. 13
    Tim on 10 May 2010 #

    The Dutch march onwards to the Quarter Finals – well done to them. Cheerio and well done also to Paraguay, Talia has played an excellent tournament.

  14. 14
    Tom on 10 May 2010 #

    Yes, Paraguay have definitely made things more entertaining – sorry to see them go. A bit surprised to see such a big win for the Dutch – you have to suspect they’re quietly becoming one of the favourites for the competition now.

  15. 15
    Steve Mannion on 10 May 2010 #

    I voted Paraguay as I’m a bit of a sucker for That Kind Of Thing.

    I thought we’d have closer games at this stage – e.g. more one goal victories or indeed sudden death.

  16. 16
    Talia on 10 May 2010 #


  17. 17
    koganbot on 10 May 2010 #

    I voted for Paraguay, but I’ve always had fun listening to the NEDs, and I’m looking forward to what they’ll do next.

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