Mar 14

PWC14: Group G Match 2 (Ghana, USA, Portugal, Germany)

Pop World Cup 201412 comments • 1,392 views

seeed Group G’s middle game sees Ghana (Jonathan Bogart) in front after narrowly beating the USA (The Lex) last time. Behind them come Portugal (Weej) and Germany (Tak) who will be looking to make more of an impact on this very tough group.

As ever, play the four songs and vote for two below the cut – where you’ll also find the Group E results and our first European qualifier for the knockout stages!

GHANA: Becca ft 2Face – “Badman Badgirl”

Current Points: 3

“We’ve opted to go with a more traditional forward lineup this time round, playing the breezy-but-technical game that brought the Ghana squad to international attention way back in the 60s. The back half is all heavy modern bruisers, though, and our star striker can run rings round the pitch without breaking a sweat.”

USA: K.Michelle – “Hit ‘Em In The Mouth”
Current Points: 2

“One of the most striking new voices in R&B finally got her (excellent) debut album proper out last year, but back in her mixtape days she was even more pugnacious – but not without good reason. No one will want to mess with her on the pitch.”

PORTUGAL: Buraka Som Sistema – “Hangover (Ba Ba Ba)”
Current Points: 1

“There comes a time in any Portugal manager’s career when he has to break open the box marked ‘Buraka Som Sistema’. That time is now.”

GERMANY: Seeed – “Deine Zeit”
Current Points: 0

“German reggae/dancehall isn’t, as far as I know, a well explored category. But this offbeat number, complete with big-band inspired horn section and brass band number, is quite the addictive head-nodder.”


G2: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick?

  • PORTUGAL: Buraka Som Sistema 61%
  • USA: K.Michelle 42%
  • GHANA: Becca ft 2Face 39%
  • GERMANY: Seeed 35%

Total Voters: 71

Poll closes: 20 Mar 2014 @ 13:00

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RESULTS: Congratulations to FRANCE, who have qualified for the knockout stages and look set to top Group E after a second consecutive three point haul. Behind them are Honduras, who pick up 1.5 points after tying with Switzerland. Ecuador end up with the wooden spoon and no points from this game. What does it all mean? Honduras will qualify with another 2nd place finish or better. Switzerland or Ecuador will go through if they win and Honduras come last. Other results may well go down to the dreaded percentage point shoot-out. It’s a nail-biter! (Except for France). Standings: France – 6 points. Honduras – 3.5 points. Switzerland – 1.5 points. Ecuador – 1 point.


  1. 1
    Matt DC on 13 Mar 2014 #

    I haven’t actually listened to the songs yet but…



  2. 2
    lartsaegis on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Shout outs to France, game only gets harder at this point.

    1. Germany
    2. USA
    3. Ghana
    4. Portugal

    Germany with turning on a dime and making a complete 360 tactics wise, moonwalking and stealing a page from the Croatian Playbook of Fusiform Music. This one’s slower going but that works for them — disorienting opponents that might think they’re going to pick up speed with a zen bounce, a fun hop along, catching sides off guard, including mine. Deutschland’s still in it to win it.

    USA is letting off the gas a bit, but the decrease in tempo shows that while they’re willing to play rough, they’re willing to play by the rules and on the side of non-cardage as long as nobody fucks with them, and I don’t see any of the other tracks out here prepared to jump, so brawls are averted. The beat is pretty whatever (especially compared to Beam), but Michelle is on a whole different level swag wise. Do you, girl.

    Ghana set their flangers to complacent with this one. While other offerings from the African continent had more edge, this one seems to be just happy to be here, fine to brush off any goals from other sides, just enjoying a game of pop football. It may not be about whether you win or lose in the Group Stages where there is not quite a clear definition of W or L in the early going — seeing as we play for points — but how Ghana plays the game here, I question their resolve, whether they’ll keep their lead or not.

    Portugal’s was unfortunately sort of a bother. Not something I’d like to hear with a hangover, that’s for certain. There are some interesting subbass ribbons, and I admire the energy, but all hints of subtlety seem to be missing from this honker. This seems more like a first round track, at best.

  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Always satisfying to see some big names on the pitch. I saw the Portuguese side a couple of years ago play the same formation, and it works just as well now as it did then.

    Seeed on the other hand, well, they’re a talented side but I preferred their (completely different!) tactics from a couple of seasons ago.

    Ghana are perfectly lovely but USA have the edge this time.

  4. 4
    lonepilgrim on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Ghana take their foot off the gas a bit this match. There’s plenty of entertainment on the ball and a cheery demeanour from the team but they need more of an edge to take on tough opponents.
    USA own their match – with this level of possession other teams don’t stand a chance.
    Portugal forgo flair for a high paced game of short passes and intimidating tackles. Few goal scoring opportunities though.
    Germany sound a lot more coordinated than last round – perhaps the big head of Karl M in goal provided the theoretical underpinning for the team’s revolution. Their front line show an encouraging unity but they may only score from a set piece.

  5. 5
    Chelovek na lune on 14 Mar 2014 #

    USA – not as well formed as Ghana, nor as petulantly aggressive as the name might have suggested (which is for the good): but still, a bit too generic and playing in a set formula that takes no account of the competition means this isn’t a game-winning set of moves.

    GHANA – Jolly playing. We’re getting familiar with this formation by now, and while it’s always pleasing, this isn’t the best teamwork we’ve encountered in this style of game, and they don’t step the pace up as they might or ought. Overall, a performance that is a bit less conclusive than it ought to be be, let alone championship-enthralling.

    PORTUGAL – confused, but beat-laden. And not to put too fine a point on it, f**king annoying, in fact, but sometimes this tight approach gets results on the field, even if not the respect or appreciation of the audience. And at the end of day, mate, this is not figure skating, “beautiful game” or not, zero 8.9s or 9.4s are for the offing here on the assessment of artistic judges, it’s about defend and attack, and getting the ball between the posts and to the back of the net. And this taut performance manages that, but you should hear the crowd booing them even as they win by a convincing margin.

    GERMANY – swingalong a summertime in the square: real good fun, and some passing skills in evidence, but do they have enough energy to cope with this altitude though for the full 90 minutes? Perhaps. Competent and fun, even though the shadow of Karl Marx puts a bit of a downer on things, we don’t need no DiaMat, we don’t need no thought control. Best of the bunch.

  6. 6
    Garry on 14 Mar 2014 #

    The Group of Death is getting bogged down in battle. The German’s snatch victory by having the toughest defence under pressure. The US has a handy striker but their midfield fails to provide good service and are pushed back by German resolve.

    Portugal attack, attack and attack through the middle but keep running into the wall of defence. With not much in the way of Plan B, they are caught out by a set piece and defeated.

    Which leaves a Ghana lightweight in attack but with just enough nous to not give the ball away, earning a draw and a point. But in this group they can’t expect the opposition to give them a vote again and need to provide more cutting edge in their last game.

  7. 7
    thefatgit on 15 Mar 2014 #

    The twin powerhouses of USA and Germany see off some dogged competition from Ghana and Portugal.

    USA make good on their promise of fresh talent from the R&B feeder leagues. I expect K. Michelle will feature in many tournaments to come. Big fat tick.

    Germany take their party-ska-punk-mariachi tactics to another level under the watchful eye of Karl Marx. Too fun to fail? The panel says yes.

    Ghana are likeable but have little to offer in the way of fresh tactics. Have they been found out in this competition so early? I still think there’s something special to come from their squad.

    Portugal’s many shots goalward, inexplicably hit the bar. Unlucky lads.

  8. 8
    Matt DC on 16 Mar 2014 #

    Oof this is a tough one. Ghana, somewhat cheekily, are fielding a Nigerian here but as far as I know Becca is still eligible. This is terrific fluid attacking side anyway, a joy from start to finish.

    Seeed have controversially and undeservedly failed to make the German squad for several successive tournaments and while it’s great to finally see them here, this is not them at their best. No tick.

    Otherwise it’s between the USA and Portugal for the final vote and I really can’t decide.

  9. 9
    Tom on 17 Mar 2014 #

    Ghana approach the game with an easy confidence – it’s another fantastic front two from an African side, this partnership could score for fun and it sounds like they are. Perhaps they’re a little complacent – it’s a while since the “fire/desire” rhyme has fooled defenders – but they’re surely doing enough here.

    The USA take a different approach – not as reliant on pace, they’ve chosen to keep it tight at the back and rely on their hard-as-nails striker to leave opposition defenses trembling. Which you have to say she does – imperious play from this young star, shrugging off tackles with contempt.

    The Portugese gaffer plonks his starting eleven onto the pitch and points towards the goal. “That way, lads”. It makes for some dynamic opening exchanges but the lack of tactical variety here means the team are soon found out: disappointing from a big name whose successful 2008-9 campaign I covered as a local leagues reporter for Pitchside Media.

    And speaking of big names, Seeed show flashes of their undoubted talent and there’s a strong, muscular hook in here, but you get a testimonial by winning the world cup, you don’t win the world cup by playing a testimonial.

  10. 10
    jeff w on 18 Mar 2014 #

    Well, I’m enjoying the Seeed revival* hugely, if no one else is. And it sent me off on a pleasant YouTube diversion catching up with all their other recent singles.

    Wasn’t taken much by any of the other 3, but after a bit of thought, USA nicked the second tick.

    *OK they may never have been away, but I think I lost track of them after “Ding” way back when.

  11. 11
    lartsaegis on 20 Mar 2014 #

    Portugal doing way better than I thought they would, their emergency plan worked. Good on them. 4s across the board, save for a losing out Germany. Pity.

  12. 12
    lartsaegis on 20 Mar 2014 #

    Next match is gonna be a 3 for all.

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