May 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Second Quarter Final – Germany 4 Korea Republic 3

FT/33 comments • 1,036 views

Quarter Final number two, and things are rattling on apace. Battling for a coveted semi-final spot here are Chris R’s Korea Republic side who seem to have hit a convincing K-pop stride – or was it a K-pop peak? – and Germany, managed by Andrew F, who have shown real flexibility in style to get here and who (famously) must never be underestimated.

This match closes at midnight on Monday 24th May

GERMANY: 2raumwohnung – “Der Letzte Abend Auf Der Welt (single edit)” The Manager Says: “During this tournament I’ve tried to ring the changes a bit, so it might come as a surprise that this is another recent female-fronted electronic-backing-track track, like my entry last round. However, this round I’m just playing to my team’s strengths against what I suspect will be a tough opponent. Expect something far more unusual for the semis, if we get that far, when I shake up the formation again.”

KOREA REPUBLIC: SHINee – “Ring Ding Dong” The Manager Says: “I’ve only chosen female teams so far in the Pop World Cup, because the boys generally seem to have much less personality (or maybe the girls are just getting better material). This track is an exception. I highly recommend watching the music video, in which several members of SHINee turn up dressed like characters from a latter Final Fantasy. It’s strangely fitting given the single’s winning combination of slick special effects and ludicrous melodrama. I felt like invoking “MY LADAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY” at more than one inappropriate moment during the past week.”

Quarter Final 2: which track do you prefer?

  • GERMANY: 2raumwohnung 51%

Total Voters: 57

Poll closes: 24 May 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis Both sides set up in modern, attacking, out-and-out-pop formations in an entertaining game. The Germans have a neat, attractive and flowing approach which may win them many admirers, and the manager’s enigmatic promise of “something far more unusual” may tempt floating voters. The Koreans, on the other hand, seem to be made of some supershiny alloy, and play at such a tempo you’ve to keep checking how many players they have on the pitch. It’s an amazing performance but in this tournament the goalposts are OUR HEARTS and who knows which way they will beat?

Coming up The third quarter final will be the first all-African affair to arrive this tournament, and it’ll feature two of the strongest sides we’ve seen so far: Ghana take on Nigeria.


  1. 1
    lockedintheattic on 18 May 2010 #

    Oh my. First listen to the German track and it’s the kind of solid German performance that’s seen them do so well in this tournament so far, and I figure it’s going to be a tough match.

    And then they get completely mown bown by the increasingly powerful k-pop juggernaut scoring goals left right and centre. They’re almost making the Germans look like amateurs here. If Korea carry on this strongly it’s hard to see anyone else getting past them.

  2. 2
    Birdseed on 18 May 2010 #

    South Korea are going to sweep this, as I always predicted they would! Risky strategy to rest your best players through the group, but it’s paid off in spectacular fashion.

  3. 3
    jeff w on 18 May 2010 #

    2raumwohnung can be awesome, so looking forward to this clash v. much

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 18 May 2010 #

    This German side have been steadily improving throughout the tournament and this is another great performance from them, steady, solid and while short on flair, they’ll be very effective and difficult for the Koreans to get past.

    Not that this should be much of an issue given that South Korea are seemingly more intent on scoring own goals, and letting the singer take his cues from the Crazy Frog is probably a mistake.

  5. 5
    lonepilgrim on 18 May 2010 #

    Korea’s finely tuned performance flatters to deceive. Despite some slick moves they lack the relaxed authority and swagger of the Germans. A win for the Krauts.

  6. 6
    Tracer Hand on 18 May 2010 #

    Sometimes you hear players talk about “playing within themselves”, trying to resist the urge to do too much, which can lead to overreaching and mistakes. Two-Room Flat play within themselves beautifully here, roughing up their usual smooth style a little and infuriating the South Koreans by laconically passing it around and keeping possession for ages.

    When South Korea get it, though, they don’t hesitate. Despite garnering several yellow cards for egregious autotune abuse and at times veering dangerously close to a “Maya Heee, Maya Haaa” offense, their tempo and attack are fearsome.

    So Germany can’t just lay back. But they don’t. Their striker may be lazy but their midfield is bouncetastic, and eventually one of those big bounces is going to rainbow right over the South Korean defense (such as it is).

  7. 7
    koganbot on 18 May 2010 #

    The Germans travel confidently through a horn-filled forest, gaily scattering breadcrumbs behind them. The Koreans lie in wait in a house of gingerbread and candy. Who will prevail in this battle of wits and edibles?

    The catchy Korean chorus makes me feel as if fun is being thrown in my teeth like dental floss. But the guy with the high singing finally gets Korea the win, his voice chopped, trilled, and ‘tuned into passion and adventure, overcoming solid German opposition.

  8. 8
    thefatgit on 18 May 2010 #

    This is indeed a tasty tie! Germany adopt a tactic that has been admired for a long time, that of neat one-touch passing, plenty of darting runs behind the Korean defence picking up any loose ball to nod goalwards. I’m reminded of Horn/Lipson style production, which is no bad thing.

    Korea on the other hand, play a kind of Total Football, swapping positions, turning defence into attack in a blink of an eye. One nagging doubt is that reliance on autotune. Done well, autotune adds futuristic cyber-sheen like say, Black Eyed Peas. Done badly, it shows up your own limitations a la Kanye West. The Koreans stay just the right side of the divide here.

    This match could go right down to the wire.

  9. 9
    iainf on 18 May 2010 #

    2raumwohnung are a little more upbeat than I’m used to here based on previous encounters with them on the Jukebox – suits them well enough but I think I prefer them in heartbreaking mode. Sort of irrelevant anyway as Korea have a pop colossus of ridiculous dimensions and are an easy choice again.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 19 May 2010 #

    Absolutely loving the German track – again. And a fun stylish video as well – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mW3HmKcgPd0 As someone comments below the YouTube clip, this is an Ohrwurm!

    Korea – sorry, but for me this is a step too far into boy band hell. Clear win for Germany to ease the pain of Ballack’s ankle.

  11. 11
    Ben on 19 May 2010 #

    Korea are playing high up the pitch, trying to catch the Germans offside with their well-drilled autotune trap.

  12. 12
    Tom on 19 May 2010 #

    I’m with Matt on the Germans – as a pop side they’re known for their tight backlines and stingy defences and it seems the manager has finally worked out how to get the most out of that side of their play within the formation that suits him. In other words, it’s got a good beat and you can dance to it. I’m not wholly sure about their decision to field the mascot but maybe this time you do win something with kids.

    As for Korea – I think it’s time to face the facts: I don’t really like K-Pop. This is pacy stuff but it’s not as good as the track they used last time and I’m getting bored of the electro backing. Germany win it.

  13. 13

    […] I’m now through to the quarter-finals in the Pop World Cup – vote Germany! […]

  14. 14
    Steve Mannion on 21 May 2010 #

    V good game – Korea as well organised as they have been in previous games but their tactics may be too familiar now, and exploited by a more unpredictable German side I’m liking more and more.

  15. 15
    Alberto on 21 May 2010 #

    Seemed like a close match at first, but the Korean auto-tune tactics do them in. Germany to go through.

  16. 16
    Maddie on 23 May 2010 #

    I prefer SHINee’s old Michael Jackson style of play to their current autotuned Backstreet Boys tactics. That said, I don’t think “ring ding dong ring ding dong ring ringading dingading ding ding” will ever leave my head.

  17. 17
    Tim on 24 May 2010 #

    This one closes tonight – any more for any more? The polls are really… very… close… Every vote counts here.

  18. 18
    Tim on 25 May 2010 #

    Germany! It’s Germany and by the very narrowest of margins! This was an absolutely pulsating game, with darting attacks from all over the pitch and from both teams: the defences looked mighty but still the ball kept hitting the back of the net.

    I think this counts as a fairly large upset, well done to Germany, but also well done to Korea, who’ve played a great tournament and are unlucky to be leaving at this stage.

  19. 19
    Tom on 25 May 2010 #


  20. 20
    lonepilgrim on 25 May 2010 #

    I’m glad that Germany won but it was a close fought match. Not to open a can of worms or anything but the stats say Germany 29 votes, Korea 28 – but the total votes = 58. Is there a missing vote somewhere?

  21. 21
    mm on 25 May 2010 #


  22. 22
    Erithian on 25 May 2010 #


  23. 23
    admin on 25 May 2010 #

    There were 57 votes cast, but the wp-poll plugin’s code is a little buggy (and no longer maintained!) and has somehow noted down that the total is out of 58.

    My guess is that this is likely due to someone voting TWICE (intentionally or not) and the second vote event is counted before the code that prevents double-voting and then discards that vote kicks in.

    Apologies to the organisers for any perceived ambiguity. I will leave it to them to call whether this is a clear win or not – it is clear to me though that we did record one more vote for Germany than for Korea.

    (I voted Korea – not logged in as admin of course – that would be rude)

  24. 24
    Erithian on 25 May 2010 #

    So this goes down to the electronic equivalent of pregnant chads?

    Delighted with the outcome though, I enjoyed the flair of the Germans (and that’s not a sentence you get to write every day).

  25. 25
    Tom on 25 May 2010 #

    The Korean assistant manager and physio are out of their technical area and remonstrating with the ref – they are ADAMANT that goal in the last minute of extra time crossed the line. Our replays suggest otherwise, but it’s SO CLOSE. Let’s hope things calm down on the pitch there Brian.

  26. 26
    Chris on 25 May 2010 #

    Frenetically chomping gum on the touchline here!

  27. 27
    Tim on 25 May 2010 #

    Sorry Chris, but it looks as though the ghost 58th vote was the result of a bug and therefore not valid, so at 29-28 the result stands.

  28. 28
    Steve Mannion on 25 May 2010 #

    Unbelievable! Never seen anything quite like it in the PWC. What a showdown. Two excellent quarter-finals so far.

  29. 29
    lonepilgrim on 25 May 2010 #

    …and now the total reads 57 – history (re)written by the victors?

  30. 30
    Erithian on 25 May 2010 #

    Are we looking at the PWC’s answer to Geoff Hurst and the Russian linesman?

  31. 31
    Chris on 25 May 2010 #

    Yeah, I assumed the extra vote was probably a bug of some kind. But if I was due to be knocked out, I couldn’t ask for a more exciting loss than this…

  32. 32
    jeff w on 27 May 2010 #

    Again, I wasn’t able to vote but I would have gone for Germany. Sorry to see Korea go though – they have lit up this tournament.

  33. 33
    michelle on 28 May 2010 #

    WTF!!!!! Y DIDNT SHINee WIN!?!??! THAT OTHER MESS WAS CRAP (no offense) but gawddangit wtf. SHINee don’t worry Ring Ding Dong is awesome

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