Austria, Croatia, Germany and Poland can all still qualify – who will win through? Vote in the poll, then click below the cut for track details, comment and analysis, match reports and previews.

How to vote: Just tick the track you like best in each match – you will need to vote separately. If you download, please vote! These polls close on May 26th.

Austria v Germany: Which track do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Germany: Paul Kalkbrunner 60%
  • Austria: Madita 40%

Total Voters: 25

Poll closes: 26 May 2008 @ 13:02

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Croatia v Poland: Which track do you prefer? [ballot]

  • Poland: Reni Jusis 73%
  • Croatia: Qwerty 27%

Total Voters: 26

Poll closes: 26 May 2008 @ 13:04

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AUSTRIA: Madita – “Because”

The manager says: “down but not out, balls to the wall, our last hope lies with the charming Madita who has gingerly impressed in training and enters the arena ready to claim Austria’s credentials in the contemporary adult pop game and hopefully our place among the last 8.”

Our analyst says: Austria are pinning their hopes on a powerful young striker who certainly knows where the goal is – this is direct, unfussy play but I don’t know if she’ll get the support and service she needs to break the Germans down.

GERMANY: Paul Kalkbrenner – “Gebrunn Gebrunn”

The manager says: I WANT PAUL KALKBRENNER’S AVIATORS. But I guess his music is so gloriously dazzling that he needs them. As will you, when you see our play in this round…

Our analyst says: The German coach has been refining his tactics as the tournament progresses, building a team with real steel at the back but deceptively subtle approach play. He’s relying on the midfield for goals, but willing to throw on a striker near the end if required. A formidable challenge.


The manager says: Right then, the time for messing about is OVER. Noticing the crowd has gone a bit quiet when teams stick to a standard europop 4-4-2, we’ve gone for a make or break choice here. Don’t be put off by the slow start (it fades in a bit this one, as Bill Shankly John Peel used to say) our boy qwerty shows some stunning skills up and down the park. We even sent CEEPHAX ACID CREW over to do some pre-match training with him (they did a gig in Zagreb together on Saturday), so all i can say is, get rid of yr thundersticks and GET SOME GLO STICKS!!!

Our analyst says: Croatia are banking on individual flair to win the day – they’ve got two or three players on the pitch who could turn a match by themselves. But can they play together? I wonder if the lack of a leader on the pitch might tell against this undeniably talented side.

POLAND: Reni Jusis – “Magnes”

The manager says: “We are Poland. We haven’t really got much to say other than that this week. We trust the divine floatiness will work its own magic.”

Our analyst says: There’s an air of quiet confidence in the Polish camp and I think it might be justified – they’re playing classic 4-4-2, fast-paced but with excellent control and technique. Old-school tactics haven’t always won out at this tournament but they can still win a game when done right.

MATCH REPORTS: Spain 1 Sweden 2: A sloppy Swedish side left it late to claim three points against Spain. The Spanish team looked lumbering and ill-prepared but were still able to equalise from a needlessly conceded corner. The increasingly ragged Swedes looked set for a draw before a moment of flair settled the tie and put them in a strong qualifying position in Group D. Spain’s task now is simple: beat Greece by several goals or go home.

Switzerland 2 Portugal 2: This result means both sides qualify, in an engaging tie which saw a gung-ho Swiss team evenly matched by a more skilful if less committed Portugese team. You felt Portugal were playing for a draw but they had to work to get it, and Switzerland tops the group narrowly on vote difference.

Czech Republic 0 Turkey 2: The Czechs seemed resigned to their fate, playing prettily but without much gusto. Turkey, though, were determined to give their all and a brace of second-half goals were fair reward for a commanding performance: news of the draw in the other game doomed both sides to a first-round exit whatever the result here. Congratulations though to two teams who have each played some excellent games.

COMING NEXT: A point against France sends Italy through in Group C: lose and they’ll be elminated should Romania beat Holland. France and Romania need to better each other’s results to qualify, though if both lose then Holland will be in the quarter-finals. Basically, everyone needs to win except Italy – there, nice and simple!