Hello, and welcome to the Pop World Cup 2010! 64 matches showcasing pop – in its very broadest sense – from 32 nations. There can be only one winner, and that is YOU, the pop fan.

If you want a brief explanation as to what the PWC is go here. Kicking the competition off we have hosts South Africa, managed by Isabel Ewing vs Mexico, managed by Tom Schaller. Two managers new at this level, so the pressure is on right from the start.

How to join in: If you can read this and hear the tracks posted you’re eligible to vote – just tick which one you prefer in the poll. You can leave comments below too. If a track gets 58% or more of the vote, it wins and the team takes 3 points – otherwise, the match is drawn and each team gets 1 point. We’ll be launching a mini-site with voting instructions, results tables, and more very soon.

And without further ado, onwards! With the festival of football (and pop)!

SOUTH AFRICA: Pitch Black Afro – “Pidipidi” The manager says: “An inspirational track influenced by Timbaland. We will play Missy Elliot style! Mexico beware!”

MEXICO: Cafe Tacuba – “La Ingrata” The manager says: “The genre-spanning Café Tacuba’s take on Mexican Norteño music. Lots of accordion, with the singer’s already very nasal stylings ratcheted up to near obnoxious in order to put across his real scorn for the subject of the song: his ex-lover – La Ingrata, the ungrateful one.”

Group A Match 1: Which track did you like better? [ballot]

  • South Africa: Pitch Black Afro 60%
  • Mexico: Cafe Tacuba 40%

Total Voters: 68

Poll closes: 14 Feb 2010 @ 23:59

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This match will end at midnight (UK time) on Sunday.

Commentary Box Analysis: “South Africa are playing with a lot of pride out there – a classic formation, it’s taken the USA a long way in the past this kind of tactic, and the front man has quality to spare. But you have to wonder about the calibre of players they might bring off the bench if he starts to tire. Mexico on the other hand are a busy side, very high workrate and that energy’s going to be their best asset I’m sure. They have to make sure they don’t wind up the crowd though – obnoxious is all very well but not if it gets you booked.”

Coming Up!: The other Group A game, Uruguay vs France, will be up tonight, then on Thursday South Korea take on Greece and there’s a mouthwatering pop clash between Argentina and Nigeria.