Jun 18

Pop World Cup 2018 Group E Match 1

New York London Paris Munich/13 comments • 1,252 views

No, you’ve not missed any matches. We’re putting this year’s games up as we get the entries in, and so it’s a big thankyou to the prompt Group E gaffers of Serbia, Brazil, Switzerland and Morocco. It’s a group of veteran pop managers in the dugout this match, but only two can progress beyond the group stage, and you decide who those two are. Hear the tracks below the cut, and vote in the poll:

Pop World Cup 2018 Group E Match 1: Pick TWO tracks

  • BRAZIL: Karol Conka ft Tropkillaz 76%
  • SWITZERLAND: Steffe La Cheffe 51%
  • COSTA RICA: Triddi 49%
  • SERBIA: Rasta 9%

Total Voters: 45

Poll closes: 1 Jul 2018 @ 12:19

Loading ... Loading ...

SERBIA (Manager: Chelovek Na Lune): Rasta – “Noci Nemirne”

“SERBIA. The dukes of football. The high dukes. The dukes who show up all the other dukes for the peace dukes they are. But we are the high dukes. And we conquer and win, even when we lose. Sometimes what superficially appear to be our greatest defeats are the foundations of our victories. From CeCa to the missing statue of Samantha Fox in CaCak, we play pop football like no-one else. By our rules. Our rules. Fly the flag. Our man here Stefan Đurić, otherwise known as Rasta, 28 years old, from Priština, is one of the most versatile players of the game: he is proficient to take up almost every position, from crooning in goal to rapping with an abundance of autotune as striker, and seldom misses a goal. And even if you can’t seem them in this lineup, take my word that no-one else wears dreadlocks in the Balkans like he does. Kicking off for victory.”

BRAZIL (Manager: Jonathan Bogart): Karol Conka ft Tropkillaz – “Tombei”

“Brazil is quite well aware that they haven’t historically performed as well in the Pop World Cup as their junior partners in the football one have, so we’re entering this contest with something to prove. Our star striker this time out has been setting national pitches ablaze for the last four years, usually in conjunction with this defensive lineup, production team Tropkillaz. Come and get us.”

SWITZERLAND (Manager: Pete): Steffe La Cheffe – “Ha Ke Ahnig”

“Steff is a little Miracle Of Bern, a multi-instrumentalist playing in “Universal Language” of music, in Ha ke Ahnig (from her 2013 album Vögu zum Geburtstag) she is playing very much in an African style with some more angular Swiss German hip-hop notes over the top. The flow is excellent, the play joyous to watch but to a purpose. Back of the net.”

COSTA RICA (Manager: Carsmile Steve): Triddi – “Muy Loco”

Muy Loco by TRIDDI

“Have to say, it’s not been the easiest start for your Costa Rican gaffer, selection is a little limited (even this lot only have one track on YouTube), but this is an interesting mix of disco funky bits with somewhat of an 80s vibe and a nice samba-y, salsa-y breakdown in the middle (and a record scratch sound effect! who doesn’t love a record scratchsound effect???). Think the lads have got an outside chance of pulling off a cagey 1-0 here, we’ll have to se ewhat strength in depth the squad has got though…”

RESULTS: They’ll be driving in the streets of Jeddah tonight as Saudi Arabia’s all-female strikeforce wrongfoots the opposition to take an unlikely but convincing lead in Group A. They take 3 points into the crunch second game. Russia take 2, their muscular play nudging them ahead of the cultured Uruguayan forwards. And Egypt finish scoreless, needing a huge performance in the second game to progress.


  1. 1
    Tom on 25 Jun 2018 #

    Only two of these strikers feature in the Official Spotify Sticker Album but we’ll get them into the playlist ASAP.

  2. 2
    Jonathan Bogart on 25 Jun 2018 #

    Early reports from the Brazilian manager: heavy scowls and pacing on the sidelines.

  3. 3
    dollymix on 25 Jun 2018 #

    While Group A was a study in contrasts, these four teams take much more similar approaches. Switzerland and Costa Rica are the only teams to really get the midfield involved and to show some flexibility in their style, and the Costa Ricans tire themselves out too early (the striker doesn’t have the legs for the high-pressing style they’re aiming for), but Switzerland runs away with it thank to its all-field approach coupled with a clinical finisher up front. It’s a close battle for second between the route-one approaches of Brazil and Serbia, but the Brazilians edge it thanks to a more confident striker and slightly more nimble defensive work.

  4. 4
    Tom on 26 Jun 2018 #

    Serbia playing the kind of aggressive pop football that can leave defenses gasping. Certainly you can’t doubt the commitment on show here but like the slo-mo pillow-fights in the video there’s a touch of creativity lacking upfront. Chances aplenty but no killer finish.

    Brazil have a burden of expectation – there will always be those who like to invoke la joga tropicalia and urge Brazil to embrace the silkier side of their heritage. But it’s not 1970 anymore, and Brazil’s pragmatic gaffer understands that. For me, this is everything you could want from a modern Brazilian side – crunching, highly physical play with a thunderbolt finish and plenty of, ah, movement at the back. Should go far.

    I can see the Swiss doing well here – lots to enjoy about their flowing play though there were a couple of decisions that needed referral to the VAR (Video Appropriation Referee). An abundance of talent in this squad but ultimately for me a little too much passing the ball around midfield. Get it to the big lass upfront!

    Costa Rica provide us with a pop football fairytale – a lad from the Bandcamp Leagues getting to strut his stuff on pop’s biggest stage. And with support from a hard-working team, he shines – perhaps the best striking display of the tournament so far, full of energy and clever turns in the box. I understand all too well the dilemmas faced by a manager whose squad lacks depth but on this showing Costa Rica have the potential to surprise.

    Harsh on the enterprising Swiss, but my votes are Americas 2, Europe 0.

  5. 5
    Jonathan Bogart on 26 Jun 2018 #

    In a brief mid-match interview with brazen sports journalists demanding a statement, the Brazilian manager acknowledges that as neither Puerto Rico nor South Africa made the Pop World Cup this year, it’s generous of Serbia and Switzerland to showcase some of their respective play styles. Balkan reggaeton, Helvetic isicathamiya, and indeed Mesoamerican disco (oh, of course the U.S. also failed to qualify) showcase the Pop World Cup as truly an international sport. No further questions.

  6. 6
    weej on 26 Jun 2018 #

    Like the pace of this game, everyone seems to be going all in for the win.
    Serbia – lovely play, a lot of creativity going on here, unfortunately let down by the predictable moves of the striker though.
    Brazil – chronic underperformers at the PWC, could this be the year Brazil finally live up to the hype? On this evidence, yes, the goals keep getting relentlessly banged in. Can they keep up this level of play through the knockout stages?
    Switzerland – Bringing in a load of ringers to bulk out your frail defense is a risky move, but the gamble pays off, they gel naturally with the strikeforce – beautiful stuff, but will the opposition get wind of this strategy and defend accordingly?
    Costa Rica – A brave attempt, clear influences from the New York Funk-punk leagues of the early 2000s, along with the sort of fluid, effortless play we expect from South American teams. Ultimately it’s not quite enough, but a great effort nonetheless from a group of amateurs.

  7. 7
    lockedintheattic on 27 Jun 2018 #

    (Haven’t voted yet but just wanted to let Tom know that I sent my Polish tracks through a few days ago so they may be in your spam folder – let me know if you can’t find and I’llk send again)

  8. 8
    Tom on 27 Jun 2018 #

    Thanks LITA I got ’em! I realised about 10 seconds after I sent the email out that I had WRONGLY ACCUSED you :)

  9. 9
    lockedintheattic on 27 Jun 2018 #

    okrzyk radości! (apparently that means whoop! in Polish).

  10. 10
    lockedintheattic on 28 Jun 2018 #

    Great to see Brazil properly living up to those high expectations this time round – what a great start for the team. Much more of a surprise is the Swiss team – who knew they had something like that in them? Absolutely joyous, in fact it’s a surprise group winner for me. Excited to see what else they have up their sleeves for next time.

  11. 11
    koganbot on 1 Jul 2018 #

    Rasta (Serbia): The singer’s a big bulk of talent, joyous and anxious, finds beauty in the low throat, then pulls West Asia out of his mid-range like a whip. But this can be as exhausting as it is exciting. Clare finds it kinda boring: there’s no bridge; the young women are innocent having their pillow fight; he’s like the devil. He’s a menace to them.

    Karol Conka (Brazil): Women in control, says Clare. Empowered sexuality. But she gets scared by this sort of party. Scary fun? Gunshots are an almost automatic “No.” –Whereas I’m still gullible enough to find ’em thrilling in song. Conka is matter of fact; I’d almost call her relaxed but the effect is just the opposite: the beats are the hammer and she steers the nail.

    Steff la Cheffe (Switzerland): Harmonic globs of beauty, too many and too fey. Our Germanic-sounding singer (Flemish? Is she Belgian? [I didn’t check the teams before listening. Turns out she sounds Germanic ’cause she’s singing in German. Who’d have thought?]) rescues this by staying low with the beats.* Finally some variety, says Clare. Good hair, almost like Kate Bush. Trustworthy young women, and kids and different styles and ages.

    Triddi (Costa Rica): Fun music, says Clare: “I don’t feel like I have to please them.” Neither do I. Disco beats, joy in all directions, forty years forward and forty years back. But all this joy is chasing its own tail. (As with Uruguay in Group A, I’m not open to the wide-ranging inventiveness. I wonder why?)

    Clare’s order: Switzerland, Costa Rica, Brazil, Serbia.
    Frank’s order: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Costa Rica.

    Our votes go to Switzerland and Brazil.

    *Like Jack Kerouac. (Actually, not at all like Jack Kerouac.)

  12. 12
    Jonathan Bogart on 1 Jul 2018 #

    Post-match analysis:

    Hard luck on the Serbs, who may have fallen afoul of the usually unspoken but rigorously enforced anti-white dreadlocks attitude common in so many pop football terraces. The Swiss and Costa Rican sides were so great that in any other match I would have happily cheered them on, and I’m adding Triddi to my 2018 playlists anyway.

    But I never really expected Karol Conká to do less than win her round. I don’t want to say things get trickier from here on out — I have full faith in the depth of our squad — but there are few such gimmes in pop.

  13. 13
    Joe on 3 Jul 2018 #

    Any updates? Are managers still needed?

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page