Jan 14

PWC14: Group C Match 1 (Colombia, Greece, Cote D’Ivoire, Japan)

FT + Pop World Cup 201445 comments • 3,078 views

monica1Our third game is the Group C curtain-raiser – bringing you Colombia, Greece, Cote D’Ivoire, and sleeping pop giant Japan. This group has been subject to a bit of upheaval as, very sadly, Colombia manager and Popular comments stalwart Patrick Mexico has had to pull out due to ill health. Get well soon Patrick! So the managerial position was OPEN. I filled it as a temporary measure, and promptly fucked up – see below. Luckily, David Cooper Moore has now taken over the job.

Of the other teams, Billy Dods is managing Greece, Garry McKenzie has taken on the Cote D’Ivoire job, and Japan’s boss is Patrick St Michel. Four tracks, three four managers, two votes, one poll – below the cut!

AN APOLOGY FROM TOM: The original Jiggy Drama track I used for Colombia contained an incitement to homophobic murder – quoting Buju Banton’s reprehensible “Boom Bye Bye”. I should have spotted this, and didn’t: if I had, I would not have used the track. As soon as Job pointed it out to me, I immediately withdrew the song from the competition, and I apologise for using it.

COLOMBIA: Bombe Estereo – “Ponte Bomb”

“I know nothing about Colombian music aside from how great Shakira is. But most of the readers probably already knew that, too. This group seems to be fairly popular there. Their big hit, “Fuego,” was featured on season 5 of “Dexter” (thanks, Spotify!) and has a million remixes, but I like this one, the add value on an otherwise filler EP full of said remixes. Technotronic filtered through Cansei de Ser Sexy (or something), would fit nicely on a mix of music that I would play in a high-end hyper-modernist furniture shop..”

GREECE: Monika – “Birds”

“The unfancied Greek team are building on the classic structure of a strong defence, creative midfield and attacking forward line. Monika appears an unusual choice in defence. Her work in the lower leagues ensures a committed performance and passionate delivery which should convert sceptics and ensure a winning start for the Greeks.”

COTE D’IVOIRE: Serge Beynaud – “Corrigé Corrigé”

“Cote D’Ivoire’s Coupe Decale formation – with its unrelenting beats and muscular spearheads like DJ Arafat – has been successfully battering dance floors and opposition defences for a decade. However over recent years there has been a feeling it’s direct style and macho posturing was becoming too easily countered. Enter Serge Beynaud who has brought not only nimbleness and subtlety to Coup Decale but also a renewed sense of joy.”


“Japan’s goals for this first match are simple – shake up the competition’s image of our squad and then attack attack attack. There’s no better group then subversive pop-idols BiS for the job (streaking towards a top-ten placement in the charts this week with this song), as they pummel forward on a borderline-gabber beat. Yet we aren’t pure brutes, because ‘STUPiG’ also makes room for a lovely hook amongst the aggression.”



C1: Which TWO tracks do you pick?

  • JAPAN: BiS 80%
  • COTE D'IVOIRE: Serge Reynaud 41%
  • COLOMBIA: Bombe Estereo 31%
  • GREECE: Monika 28%

Total Voters: 80

Poll closes: 6 Feb 2014 @ 09:00

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: Congratulations to CAMEROON who are in the Group A driving seat with a tight win. 3 points to them. Hosts BRAZIL and their tecnobrega came in 2nd and get 2 points. CROATIA – only a few votes behind – have a consolation 1 point on the board. And MEXICO paid the inevitable price for fannydangle – 0 points for them.

Go and vote in the first Group B match if you haven’t already!


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  1. 1
    To Mewing! (@tomewing) on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Colombian nerd-hop, Greek acoustica, Ivoirian coupe decale and Japanese girlgroup noize terror in the #popworldcup http://t.co/wolsySAWlg

  2. 2
    lonepilgrim on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Colombia play with an admirable assurance from the first peep of the whistle and maintain high levels of energy throughout the match.
    The Greek team make some elegant touches but quickly lose possession – the inevitable result of using Leonard Cohen as technical director against more organised opposition. Hey, that’s no way to say goodbye.
    Cote d’Ivoire match Columbia for energy and their more nimble footwork allows them to slip though the opposition. I’m not too sure about their ability to defend though.
    Japan combine aggressive attack with some more controlled movement that cuts through the defence with surgical precision.

    BTW I am unable to vote in this group at present – perhaps just as well given how close three of the teams are.

  3. 3
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    OOPS – I set the poll to close before it had opened. Sorted that one out. You can now vote.

    Of course I picked the stand-in Colombia track before I’d heard the other songs. I slightly wish I’d tried a different approach since we’re being beaten on boshing energy terms by that amazing Japanese effort, and on rhythmic slinkiness terms by the Ivoirian side. Greece, in pop as in football, are not a particularly joyful side to witness, but with three attacking sides in the group I wonder if they might not nick a point on the counter. Very powerful statement of intent from Japan, mind you – extremely hard but accurate tackling mixed with gleeful flair.

  4. 4
    @garrymck on 30 Jan 2014 #

    My first game as Cote D’Ivoire manager in the #popworldcup is up. I’m up against Greece, Columbia and Japan. http://t.co/83DdfMcler

  5. 5
    Kat but logged out innit on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Great to see Japan taking inspiration from the Roy Keane-managed Reading squad of ’00 (featuring Slipknot in goal and Daphne & Celeste on the wings). They’ll go far with that kind of attitude, Brian.

  6. 6
    Cumbrian on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Columbia – in common with the seeming trend of the tournament thus far, a high pressing game, full of energy, trying to dominate the opposition physically. Impressive but wearing after seeing other teams try similar tactics.

    Greece – difficult to go far just passing it around the back 4 for the duration of the match, especially with everyone else in the group playing a pressing game.

    Cote d’Ivoire – probably the most balanced team in the group, which helps them against this set of teams, exploiting the weaknesses in formation of the opposition by filling those areas of the field, whilst still having the energy to match their foes’ strengths.

    Japan – crashing, bashing, jostling – more Crazy Gang than any of the other team’s that have gone down this route and seemingly incredibly difficult to like as a team. Then out of nowhere, just before half time, a 30 yard screamer into the top corner – live it looks like it takes a deflection and it might be a bit flukey. The replay just before full time seems to show that it’s actually just a great shot.

    In my head: Cote d’Ivoire go through top. Japan do enough to squeeze through thanks to that belter on half time. Columbia struggled versus those two but hammer Greece in their match to come third.

  7. 7
    Job on 30 Jan 2014 #

    What exactly is Jiggy Drama saying about “boom bye bye, batty boy” at the 2:07 mark? Stuff like that can get you sent off at the Pop World Cup.

  8. 8
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Ugh, yes, he is, isn’t he. And you’re right, that’s a red card offence. I’ll edit the post and make an apology.

  9. 9
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    OK, I’ve removed the Colombia track. I’m an idiot for not listening more carefully to the lyrics on that.

    The Colombia managerial position is still open – you will now be starting the second game on 0 points, but the country has a wealth of terrific music so a comeback is still entirely possible.

  10. 10
    Erithian on 30 Jan 2014 #

    The game’s only just begun – surely it’s not impossible to abandon it and restart with a late Colombian substitute? You’ve apologised and done the right thing, but no need to handicap the eventual new manager.

  11. 11
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    #10 I agree there’s no reason the new manager should suffer for my mistake. But in the absence of said new manager I’m not putting anything else up. If someone volunteers today and says “Use this track!” then a second-half comeback is possible.

  12. 12
    @mbmelodies on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I’m managing the Japanese team over at Freaky Trigger’s #popworldcup , and our first match is up, go vote http://t.co/3mFXf36uCV

  13. 13
    Matt DC on 30 Jan 2014 #

    The referee has almost lost control of the group here, what with Colombia’s sudden dismissal and the ferocity of this Japanese performance, crunching tackles sending opposition players flying right from the whistle. But their game suffers when they ease back on the aggression and try and play, and I’m not sure the sugary chorus really works for me.

    Amid all this, Cote D’Ivoire are passing the ball around amazingly. They may not be the favourites among the African teams but this is an excellent performance and on this evidence more than enough to see them ride out as group winners.

    Greece are an intriguing proposition. I think it’s safe to say there aren’t many pundits tipping them for glory but only a manager with supreme confidence in his squad would play a stripped down ballad at this level. But it works on this occasion, this is a superbly controlled, languid performance, the Greeks playing a possession game but there’s enough talent upfront to put the ball away when it matters. Greece narrowly squeaking past Japan for my second vote.

  14. 14
    lockedintheattic on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I’m happy to step in – have found a track if it’s still worth entering at the half-way stage?

  15. 15
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    We’ve had a couple of people wanting to come in and turn Colombia round – Dave Cooper Moore asked via email about half an hour ago, pipping this kind offer to the post, so if he still wants to the job is his. Thanks though.

  16. 16
    lockedintheattic on 30 Jan 2014 #

    That’s fine – just in case he doesn’t I’ve tweeted you my emergency choice but if Dave does follow through am happy to step in for another country if anyone else drops out.

  17. 17
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I’ve got Dave’s track now and it’ll be up when I get a break from work – and I’ll keep you on the list for any future dropouts.

  18. 18
    Erithian on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Greece and Japan, what a contrast in styles. Japan bosh it around at 100 miles an hour, and at first I found it near-unlistenable (particularly since the clip defaulted to full-blast in my earphones for the first couple of bars), but then the hook has been a bit of an earworm ever since. As for Greece, it sounds like a case of “I’ve suffered for my art, now it’s your turn”, giving the lie to the smiles on the players’ faces in the vid. If the Greeks could speed it up and Japan could slow it down, we’d have a good match on our hands. Neither of them hold a candle to the nifty footwork of the Ivory Coast, especially that midfield formation by the swimming pool. I’ll hold off voting though until the Colombian sub comes on. If the new manager falls through, maybe Harry Redknapp or Sven still need a gig?

  19. 19
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    OK – welcome Dave, and everybody enjoy the Colombia track! You may recognise the formation Colombia are using now they’re down to 10 men.

  20. 20
    Andrew Farrell on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Is the poll going to be restarted? I voted on the assumption that Colombia was out for good for this round.

  21. 21
    Tom on 30 Jan 2014 #

    No – apologies to those who already voted, victims of the continued fallout from my screw-up.

    Dave has the disadvantage of a vote handicap, but the advantage of already knowing what other people have played. Also, this is probably the difference between definitely getting 0 points and maybe getting 1 or 2, so it’s still a better outcome for Colombia.

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    lockedintheattic on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Gosh. Quite remarkable play by the Japanese there. Boshing several into the back of the net while the others are still barely warming up. Easy winner for me.

    Colombia is pretty special too – I thought it was pretty impossible to cover that song in a way that added anything to it and this really does.

    It’s also worth noting that the video to the Colombian song is a marvellously deranged tribute to the original video. Featuring dancing unicorns amongst other things:

  23. 23
    Dave on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Yes, this is really a bit of a hail mary (can you do those in soccer?) but hopefully we won’t be too far behind to make it up in the second half. Or something. (I’m not good with sports metaphors :( )

  24. 24
    Billy on 30 Jan 2014 #

    First round indicates as expected that I’m going to have a tough fight to make it to the knock out stages. Not a lot to pick between my fellow teams, though Japan’s youth and confidence makes them sure favourites to win this group.

    I’m pleased with Monika’s showing. Perhaps I should have saved her for the knockouts , for when I’d need a player with stamina to get through the longer matches.

  25. 25
    thefatgit on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I was all prepared to go Japan & Cote D’Ivoire, but Colombia’s substitute is a mix of Latin flair and European muscle. It’s the track that made me smile the most, so apologies to the Ivorians, who showed a great deal of skill on the ball. It was a close-run thing. Greece play a painfully honest game and key decisions favour their opposition. I wanted to see some fire in their bellies, but there was nary a spark. Japan sprint onto the pitch and don’t look like slowing down. I’m a sucker for a bit of Gabber and that lush hook blasts the back of the net. Bosh!

  26. 26
    lartsaegis on 30 Jan 2014 #

    It was Monika’s lyrics that appealed to me most — but instrumentally the long game shouldn’t be played as dolorously as they inflected, especially against more energetic and hungry opposition. So many clean tackles made against Greece it almost seems like highway robbery, and it seemed like the Greek players were too down to regain possession. Monika herself seems like the only one committed out there, and soccer is not a one human game.

    For second place, it’s deffo a split between the CDI and COL teams. The play of both is fucking with me in nice ways that it’s hard to choose right now, and COL already have a bit of catching up to do after the earlier and deserved disqualification. Things might come down to that, but it’s not too late with vigor like they show now.

    First place is Japan, bar none. Too much style, too much grace, I have to give it to them. The MBM editor might take the whole thing if this keeps up, now more than ever they have the talent to do it. All about this song.

  27. 27
    Mark M on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I’m quite taken with the Greek effort, and mildly drawn to the Cote D’Ivoire track.
    So far, as a Bogota-born, Mexico DF-part-raised, half-Spanish supporter of La Furia Roja, I’ve found myself having to vote against all my natural allegiances in the first round.

    By the way, there are two Os and no U in Colombia, everyone!

  28. 28
    Ewan on 30 Jan 2014 #

    I just wanted to add that I really enjoyed this group, with a great range of styles on display. Bravo to all concerned, and to Colombia for picking up and playing on with such panache when things looked to be so set against them.

  29. 29
    Chelovek na lune on 30 Jan 2014 #

    More bloody knees in this round than any other so-far; with that high-paced aggressive stuff, in wildly different styles, from the Ivorians and the Japanese. While the Colombians troop back onto the pitch with a really entertaining style, although somehow Greece win through with their slowly defensive game, sneaking out front when no-one was quite expecting it, while Japan bludgeon their opponents pretty gruesomely, actually.

  30. 30
    @mbmelodies on 30 Jan 2014 #

    Elsewhere, @EXOSKELETONE has a new song, listen now http://t.co/3mFXf36uCV

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