Mar 14

PWC14: Group B Finale (Australia, Netherlands, Spain, Chile)

Pop World Cup 201413 comments • 2,944 views

roku Welcome to the Group B finale. Let’s see how things stand.

Actually, this is a game where I wish I’d picked a less permutation-filled scoring system. Summary: everything to play for.

AUSTRALIA (Matt) have 4 points. A win or second-place means they’re home and dry.

NETHERLANDS (Job) have 3 points but a big %-of-votes lead over anyone else in the group, so in any kind of tie they will go through. A win or second-place will be fine for them too.

SPAIN (Carsmile Steve) also have 3 points. They will go through on a win, and should have a decent chance if second.

CHILE (lartsaegis) have 2 points and the simplest job: they have to go for the win. There is a potential combination which sees them go out even with a win, of course (and another where they go through with a 2nd place).

THAT’S ENOUGH PERMUTATING. Click to get to the songs, the poll, and the Group H results!

AUSTRALIA: Roku Music – “Reflector”

“Once more into the world of shoegaze – something the Aussies seem determined to dominate. Roku Music (http://rokumusic.com/) are from Brisbane (and seem to include Matt Berry amongst their members). As if to tackle the shoegaze-peer-comparison problem head on, they covered MBV and Slowdive on their debut EP – good work!”

NETHERLANDS: Rimer London ft Cata.Pirata – “Love Dagger”

“A slight change of tactics in the Dutch squad in the face of this last, crucial match of the group stage. “Love Dagger” might just do the trick here, charming its way into the next round. Producer Rimer London lays the foundation for a simple yet effective playing style, setting up singer Cata.Pirata to dash between the opponents’ defense.”

SPAIN: Alizzz – “Whoa”

“It’s CRUNCH time. not entirely sure my lads can handle the CRUNCH, there’s really not much strength in depth round here. Anyway, I like this track, takes a little while to get going, but then bounces and glides all over the pitch a little 70s here, 80s there, propulsive 00s beat almost everywhere. Don’t know very much about Alizzz, they appear to be Catalan and this track seems to be from last summer, but that’s about it… Hopefully it’ll be enough to push us into the last 16.”

CHILE: Astro – “Coco”

“Villalobos, Aguayo and I left Brazil in the team jet towards Chile — just us — the rest of the drafted team and reserves were left to enjoy the amenities that Brazil has to offer. Us three, we made a conscious decision to play Robert Hood’s Minimal Nation non-stop for the entire flight. Aguayo and Villalobos delivered us from aircraft cabin fever by remixing tracks on the fly as they saw fit after the third playthrough. All I could think of was how fitting it was: play minimal music, get minimal results, even with the country’s biggest international stars, grizzled veterans. We never spoke to each other. But I could detect the trace of a smile on all our faces, half out of anxiety for the future, half out of humor of the situation at hand: being the underdogs. All this talk about a group of death in G, and feeling so close to it in our own. Whole in hope was our answer to the question we shared in mind: Certainly, there’s more to Chile than this. And as we were touching down on a makeshift landing strip aside a dry lake near the Licancabur volcano, I saw Astro — rising stars in their own right — fielding one brilliant bloodrush of a tripped out rock cut along the the skin of a clearing. Just relieved of touring, they all wore kilts adorned with tessellated shapes, playing against a team of guanaco. For us three, it seemed that they were just what we needed. “Te queremos,” I said, as we threw them jerseys. Whatever happens, I extend the same gratitude to you.”


B3: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick?

  • CHILE: Astro 69%
  • NETHERLANDS: Rimer London 51%
  • AUSTRALIA: Roku Music 35%
  • SPAIN: Alizzz 33%

Total Voters: 51

Poll closes: 2 Apr 2014 @ 13:00

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RESULTS: Katherine St Asaph’s Algeria side bounce back to shock highly fancied South Korea and nick the 3 points in Group H. The Koreans take home 2 points – they are almost mathematically safe. As for Belgium and Russia, half a point each will satisfy neither team. Both teams can still qualify, but have an almighty scrap on their hands in the final group stage game. Standings: South Korea – 5. Algeria – 3. Belgium – 2.5. Russia – 1.5.


  1. 1
    Matt DC on 26 Mar 2014 #

    In a group with everything to play for, there’s certainly some defeatist talk coming from some of the managers here. If results don’t go their way, the Spanish press will be photoshopping their manager’s face onto a turnip after that Hodgsonesque team talk.

  2. 2
    lartsaegis on 26 Mar 2014 #

    My mother always taught me memento mori, and in a group like this (in a finale like this) it’ll probably be good in retrospect not to be too foolhardy about intending to snatch a win. Everything to play for is a forked road where you’ve everything to gain and everything to lose. Only the push of the people will decide the direction of the or/oar, and where we’ll all go. This really seems like a let the chips fall where they may type of match, and it seems like pressure is a forge for fine quality. Anywhere we go, we’re going with a fight against armaments of bombastic beats, foggy magistic conjurations, a vocal cut armed in cloak and dagger.

  3. 3
    weej on 26 Mar 2014 #

    I was ready to condemn the Australians for relying on an old formation, but it’s all a bluff to lure in the opposition before surprising them with sudden lurches forward from the midfield. The striker doesn’t do that much, but she doesn’t really need to.

    The Dutch squad seem to be content passing the ball around aimlessly for a while – is this Germany-Austria ’82 all over again? It’s pleasant enough passing, but we’re here to see goals, surely?

    Wildly erratic play from Spain, but with a thousand shots going in every direction, some of them are bound to end up in the goal.

    Another surprising formation from Chile, this is the kind of quality play I expect at a pop olympics. A fair few goals scored, but will the effort prove to be too late?

  4. 4
    lonepilgrim on 26 Mar 2014 #

    Australia lose focus here with sloppy passes and poor communication making them open to more clear headed teams.
    The Netherlands create a lot of space, playing with a laid back assurance which sees the whole team playing with a deserved confidence that they will win.
    Spain struggle to get going and seem unclear which way they’re playing. The team trip over one another and can’t keep possession. No contest.
    Chile make a dramatic tactical change after their first two outings, raising the pace and pressing forward. Tackles are clean but crunching and they score with ease.

  5. 5
    thefatgit on 26 Mar 2014 #

    I so wanted Australia to break out of the midfield and lunge forward as an unstoppable unit, but there they were, stuck in the middle of the park with no outlet.

    Something about the Dutch tactics made me smile. Attacks based on building from a solid back four, letting the ball do the work and allowing their striker to nonchalantly stroke it goalwards, is what I expect from the Dutch and they didn’t disappoint. Good work.

    Spain pop and fizz around the area, but finding the back of the net proves elusive this time around. And at the back, jeez… oh so leaky at the back!

    Chile bossed this round from kick-off, right up to the final whistle. Great enthusiasm from the players, even if their manager has given up the ghost, he should be proud of the way they displayed passion. A Mourinho-esque bluff? The opposition can’t live with Chile here.

  6. 6
    Garry on 27 Mar 2014 #

    Wow – hard choice here. The fact that Roku come from where I live and has members of No Anchor and the Rational Academy earned half a vote, but then I heard the song and another half a vote is more than earned.

    But the play from the Netherlands and Chile is exquisite. Separating these three will be difficult.

    Sadly for Spain there’s a lot of movement but an uncertainty which way the goal is. There is great technical brilliance on display but it might be a case of too many geniuses on the pitch trying to dictate play. In other games this would have gotten something, but the quality in this round is to high and the opposition too disciplined to be dazzled off the park.

  7. 7
    Billy on 28 Mar 2014 #

    Memories of the 1990 PWC from Roku, however it’s more than just nostalgia which gets them my vote as they play a nice passing game which has enough swazz to find the net.

    Not a lot to seperate the other teams, though I’m leaning towards the Netherlands total football approach. This will require some more thought.

  8. 8
    dollymix on 29 Mar 2014 #

    Probably the best round of fixures so far this tournament. Netherlands and Chile just edge it for me, with the latter a particular surprise given their lack of energy in the first two matches. Spain deserve plaudits for their lurching, off-tempo style of play, even if they can’t quite convert in the final third. Australia are a tad too cautious here – it’s understandable given their lead in a very tight group, but fortune does favor the bold and you wonder if it will come back to haunt them.

  9. 9
    Chelovek na lune on 30 Mar 2014 #

    Australia – continue in a related vein to that of their previous games: pleasing, persistent, but a bit lacking in form

    Spain – a genuinely entertaining performance (looking back affectionately to late 80s wine bars), spoiled a bit by a certain lack of coherence. Thoroughly appreciated – but we did wonder at times if all the players were on the same team.

    Chile – another quality performance, with well-placed aggression and some good set plays, that does the job.

    Netherlands – superior, slick, and sharp, a round-winning performance.

  10. 10
    Matt DC on 31 Mar 2014 #

    Australia have been playing an old-fashioned game admirably well up until now, although this may be a mis-step, as a wall of guitar fuzz can’t disguise some fairly predictable moves.

    Winning play from the Dutch, probably the tournament’s most controversial team. The singer doesn’t really carry the performance, but with synths like that, she doesn’t need to.

    The Spanish formation is a bit of a mess, but it’s an enjoyable one, so I’m half tempted to fling them a vote. But hang on, what’s this from Chile? It’s only one of the best rock performances we’ve seen so far, totally bossing it across the park. Goal!

  11. 11
    Tom on 2 Apr 2014 #

    Results are in! (I don’t know why this didn’t close automatically at lunchtime)

    That makes it a 3-way tie on 5 points at the top – horribly tight, so it goes down to % points total. We’re definitely saying goodbye to Carsmile’s Spain, though, despite their heroic performance in Game 2. Well done all.

  12. 12
    lartsaegis on 3 Apr 2014 #

    Just got word that we got through beside the Netherlands. Cheers to all the participants, and the voters, because god dang this was a hard group, and a hard match, for a minute I had to face the possible fact that we wouldn’t make it, but I had to pull something out of the hat. As far as quality goes, consider Astro a down payment. All newer blood from here on out. We’ve got more coming, and seeing as we face (*sigh*) Cameroon next game, we’re gonna need it, just a matter of planning. Thanks to the Astro boys for pulling us into the PWC stratosphere. Te queremos, indeed.

  13. 13
    Matt DC on 4 Apr 2014 #

    Chile’s performance in this group has really mirrored their tactics, lots of patient build-up before hitting you right when it matters. Really happy they’re progressing.

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