Feb 14

PWC14: Group A Match 2 (Cameroon, Brazil, Croatia, Mexico)

Pop World Cup 201413 comments • 1,909 views

luisa The second round of group matches kicks off, and there’s all to play for in Group A. Cameroon (Chris) and Brazil (Matt DC) will look to build on their early advantage, Croatia (intothefireuk) and Mexico (Steve M) have ground to make up. The rules are exactly the same as in the first round – four tracks, you vote for two of them.

CAMEROON: Museba – “Bom Bom Bom”
Current Points: 3

“The interplay between synth blasts and finger-snaps here brings to mind a particularly lithe dribble.”

BRAZIL: Luisa Maita – “Fulaninha (Da Lata Remix)”

Current Points: 2

“While the Brazilian camp are happy with our start to the tournament, there have already been some rumblings from our hugely demanding fanbase. For Brazilians, its not enough just to get points on the board, they want us to win with flair as well. To that end, we give you popular songwriter Luisa Maita, given a rock solid dancehall rework. We want to beguile you…. and make you dance at the same time.”

CROATIA: Batida – “Uspomena”
Current Points: 1

“Having been sadly out-muscled by some dodgy off the ball antics in the last game we have had to had a re-think on tactics. This time round we’ve gone for a more flexible formation and introduced a smooth jazzy passing game with some deft latin touches. This should fit right in with the Brazilian vibe with its lovely warm Astrud Gilberto-ish leanings. No vuvuzelas here but there is plenty of flute action for those that enjoy such things.”

MEXICO: Hello Seahorse! – “Para Mi”
Current Points: 0

“As I said to the lads after the last match ‘Always outrunning but not quite outplaying…BASTA!’ Now perhaps we can drift forward but not offside with more grace and subtlety and charm the ball into the back of your hearts.”


A2: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick?

  • CAMEROON: Museba 57%
  • BRAZIL: Luisa Malta 57%
  • CROATIA: Batida 48%
  • MEXICO: Hello Seahorse! 34%

Total Voters: 58

Poll closes: 27 Feb 2014 @ 12:00

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RESULTS: The battle at the top of Group G gets decided in extra time, as Ghana pips USA to the 3 points by the narrowest of margins: the Americans will have to settle for 2. Further down the group, Moullinex picks up a point for Portugal, and Germany’s campaign gets off to a shaky start with 0 points from this round.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 20 Feb 2014 #

    Cameroon keep it tight, the midfield happy to provide service for some darting runs from the front man.
    Brazil certainly demonstrate flair. Happy to pass the ball at first, they frustrate less patient opponents, before moving up through the gears and hitting the target.
    Croatia at risk of an early bath on this showing. They’re a charming bunch, likely to place highly in the Fair Play awards but they lack a convincing goal scorer
    Mexico appear nervous and uncoordinated, unwilling to press the opposition. They start to build some attacking play towards the end but I’m not convinced it’s enough.

  2. 2
    Matt DC on 20 Feb 2014 #

    Considering the geographic diversity at work here, three of the four singers here are remarkably similar.

  3. 3
    thefatgit on 20 Feb 2014 #

    Brazil take a while to get in their stride, but as the match progresses, there’s plenty of skill on show, but I wonder if they left it a little too late to make a difference.

    Similar problems with the Mexicans. Their striker is charming enough, but the rest of the team are pointing fingers and looking anxiously at the bench. When they do eventually click, their attacks, again appear too little, too late.

    Croatia have been studying classic Brazilian performances of the past, and their interpretation of what they have seen works well here. Brazil may cry shenanigans, but they’ll be secretly delighted their philosophy is being adopted elsewhere.

    Cameroon have been studying other countries’ tactics as well. When it gels, their play reminds me of those South Bronx feeder league matches from about 17 years ago when one J.Lo was getting noticed internationally. Some subtle play from the wingers pepper the box, providing easy shots on goal. Champagne corks are popping in Yaounde after this round, I’m sure.

  4. 4
    Chelovek na lune on 20 Feb 2014 #

    Mexico: a sufficiently enjoyable kick-about, with some rather delightful touches, especially at the back of the field, but not really engaging with the game enough to get the points they are looking for. Likeable, for sure. And some lovely nods backwards, a long way backwards, in Popular terms, at least. But not a world champion in the making, it seems.

    Croatia: quite a coup, actually, as it is cute, and rather good, but pop football is generally not all about cuteness. But done this way it almost could be. A certain finalist in the Pieces Just Made To Be Incidental Music on Children’s TV Programmes Cup, after beating off a concerted, but in the end, inferior, challenge from the Isle Of Wight’s Twee Champions, Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike, after extra time. I would have loved to vote for it here…but at the end of the game it was just about outclassed by some of the competition….

    Brazil: take their time to get going, and take too long to play their game (this is not the Second Movement of Symphony World Cup), but when they have warmed up…they’re not bad. Not bad at all. The promised flair is certainly in evidence. The phone-ring sounds suggest an attempt to distract the opposition, and one that succeeds, too. Classy players, in all.

    Cameroon: God yes, feed me honey. Play-play to the last drop of the 90 minutes. No injury time at all. A winner all the way. And immeasurably better, and more skilful, that its title suggested it would be… The way things are going we could be looking, either from Cameroon or elsewhere, at another overall African champion….

  5. 5
    Garry on 21 Feb 2014 #

    Croatia have become my favourite (other) team of this World Cup – they always surprise. There striker has so much time on the ball while the midfield keeps it simple and effective.

    Brazil are good but take ages to get into the game and also miss the final whistle. Mexico have their moments and come home strongly but conceding early goals costs them dear.

    Cameroon have made a few tweaks to their tactics but keep true to the spirit of their success from the first round. Surely they can coast to the knockout stages on this form. However with plenty of other teams playing their own variations on these tactics thus surely a change in formation will be soon coming.
    can rest on their position on top of the table to keep

  6. 6
    lartsaegis on 21 Feb 2014 #

    Looks like everything’s coming up Brazilian this round, at least for me.
    1. Brazil
    2. Croatia
    3. Cameroon
    4. Mexico

    People have remarked about Brazil’s pace, but they at least have a strong technical consistency that Cameroon and Mexico wish they had to keep the bodies moving. You want to talk about a mesmerizing song in this tourney thus far, this is my pick for that, the quality of the instruments used evoke a big field feel, and the beautiful, rich vocal on this just ties it all together and directs the waveform of steady attack brilliantly. It displays a lot more (as if by surprise) rhythmic passing and windows for more more chancy moves (the digital flute, synth, silent section and the percussion shifts just serve to underpin this) as the track flowers open — there’s more to this one than meets the initial ear.

    Croatia are playing chameleon this round, with a Brazilian sort of guise thats more out of respect and healthy competition for that side than something a little more trite and opportunistic, and their flair for that bossa sound is definitely charming mixed with a sort eurotwee sensibility, a spaced out sense of play that shows a lot of long passing and range, chancy scoring. Their style, however, opens them to be robbed again if an upper table spot by say a more aggro Cameroon, although I feel this is a stronger song that should (hopefully) prove against that. I do say I admire the tactics and the playstyle of this team so far.

    Speaking of, not as impressed by Cameroon’s playstyle here, although it’s bit more pacey than their last formation, and I already see it winning fans built from the last game, but in terms of ideas in this round, this comes up a little short when I remember that I’ve seen quite a few teams this year play a similar game so far with more finesse.

    Mexico — I’m definitely seeing LonePilgrim’s view here, it seems as if Mexico’s getting their midfield shredded through by tracks that have a lot more to offer, and last game is evidence of that as well. I feel like Mexico could have a really strong team, but this track isn’t what I had in mind. I’m thinking someone like Ximena Sarinana should be called pronto.

  7. 7
    tonya on 21 Feb 2014 #

    Mexico’s song from the first round has really grown on me (thank you Spotify playlist!), so I’m throwing them my vote this time to make up for leaving them off last round. This is what comes of watching too much figure skating; all hope of rational judging is out the window.

  8. 8
    Tom on 25 Feb 2014 #

    Strong group, this. Any one of these sides would romp home in a couple of the other groups.

    Very beguiled by Croatia’s effort this time. Classic stylings but with enough movement and power behind the shots to make them very hard to beat. Darting flute runs, very nice. Reminds me of a formation or two from the Iran manager’s playing days, actually.

    Cameroon have varied their tactics a little, but the pop football philosophy remains the same: high pace, high impact, and if anything this has even better hooks than their first outing. It’s a fascinating contrast with Brazil, who are showing us one of the best slow-build tactics in the tournament so far. Patient play hasn’t been rewarded so far, but Brazil know what they’re doing here.

    Finally, an unusual formation from Mexico and some lovely interplay and energy. Lots of noise from the travelling fans, too – they know they might be going home early and they’re keen to make a go of it. And do you know, they might just nick a vote. More plays needed from this commentator – well done all round.

  9. 9
    Erithian on 27 Feb 2014 #

    Another excellent round – Cameroon maybe suffer from being merely pretty good in a very strong group. At the time of writing I’m thinking that whichever of the other three I don’t vote for won’t deserve it! All worth the ticket.

  10. 10
    jeff w on 27 Feb 2014 #

    A tie? Do we have a rule for this?

  11. 11
    Tom on 27 Feb 2014 #

    Yes! 2.5 points each. Which leaves Croatia with the slimmest of qualification chances, Cameroon home and dry, and Mexico on the plane north.

  12. 12
    Matt DC on 27 Feb 2014 #

    The Brazilian management would like to congratulate our Cameroonian counterpart on an excellent and hard-fought win.

  13. 13
    Matt DC on 27 Feb 2014 #

    I mean draw, really, don’t I?

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