Feb 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group B – Argentina 2 Nigeria 2

FT//27 comments • 1,294 views

Today’s game sees Argentina, managed by Jonathan Bogart, take on Nigeria, managed by Matt DC. Argentina crashed out of the 2006 competition in the first round, and they’ve hired a manager with an impressive knowledge of pop tactics. Nigeria are tipped by some to become the first African winners of the Pop World Cup. This could be Group B’s most crucial match.

As ever, play the tracks and vote. This one ends at midnight on the 18th.

ARGENTINA: Entre Rios – “Hoy No” The manager says: “This 2002 song catapulted Entre Ríos (tr. “between rivers”) to Argentine fame when it was used in an advertisement for a popular local beer. Anticipating American crossover-indie acts like the Postal Service by a good two years, its use of electronic manipulation on the vocals also predict our current pop moment with a fragile, suspended grace.” (7MB)

NIGERIA: D’Banj – “Olorun Maje” The manager says: “People of the world. Greetings from Naija. The country has carved out its own reputation as the hotseat of African pop – many of the available pool of players have learnt their game in the American and European leagues before adapting it for homegrown audiences.

The result is a truly globalised pop music – you’re as likely to hear the influence of T-Pain, Missy Elliott, Soulja Boi or UK funky as afrobeat, gospel or highlife. I’ll be picking into both sides. First up is 29 year-old D’Banj, real name Dapo Daniel OYEBANJO, who straddles both sides of the divide. His game features all the qualities the lads will showcase throughout – namely speed, flair, positivity and awesome drums.” (8MB)

Group B Match 2: Which track did you prefer?

  • Nigeria: D'Banj 53%
  • Argentina: Entre Rios 47%

Total Voters: 75

Poll closes: 18 Feb 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis: “This Argentina side have a real delicacy about their play – keeping the ball on the ground and trying to pass it into the goal. Nigeria on the other hand have muscle to go with their flair and it might be their committed approach gives them an edge here. Should be a thrilling game – one bit of skill might win it.”

Coming Up! We’re back on Monday with the much-anticipated England v USA match to start group C. But Algeria and Slovenia aren’t just in that group to make up the numbers – they play each other in Tuesday’s game.


  1. 1
    Birdseed on 12 Feb 2010 #

    I’ve sent out my scouts to carefully examine the tactics of my opponents in the group, and I’ve carefully pondered their reports. Although I do not wish at this point to divulge too much of my analysis, as it would impact our tactical choices for the upcoming matches, I’d like to diplomatically issue the following statement:


  2. 2
    Tom on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Birdseed can take comfort from the fact that this might be a high scoring draw. I have to admit when I read the Argentina description I thought “uh-oh” – is this going to be Ciudad de lechuza? (Thanks Google Translate). But no – it’s really lovely, once you get used to the weird glitchiness of it anyhow.

    But then Nigeria is exactly the kind of thing I’m hoping for from Nigerian pop – big hooks, dynamic, had me playing it again almost immediately… great stuff.

    I think Nigeria might edge it for me but I’m giving them both several more plays.

  3. 3
    Pete on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Argentina’s first outing is just lovely, but I am not sure if delicacy is the right way to go against the Nigerians. And the extended version does seem to add a couple of nigh on pointless minutes to it. As ever the tough games pull between completely different kinds of music. Though I did think there would be a bit more bite for Nigeria on their opening game. So much closer than expected, with both songs surprisingly playing on being sweet! Nigeria for the melodica / Argentina for the tiny glitch. A draw would not surprise me.

  4. 4
    mm on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Two great challengers without a doubt. Will have to spin these some more through the weekend.

  5. 5
    Steve Mannion on 12 Feb 2010 #

    ITEM: The actual Pop World Cup site is now up: http://freakytrigger.co.uk/popworldcup

    You still go to the FT posts to vote but I will likely put the tracks on Soundcloud and embed them on the minisite too and add a few more things as we go. Whew.

  6. 6
    admin on 12 Feb 2010 #

    http://freakytrigger.co.uk/tag/pwc10/ would be useful too – for that ‘follow on FT’ link perhaps

    oh, ps – LOOKS FAB

  7. 7
    Steve Mannion on 12 Feb 2010 #

    admin can you change the text at the top right from SOON to NOW :)

  8. 8
    Tom on 12 Feb 2010 #

    That is amazing Steve.

  9. 9
    Pete on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Looks lovely Steve, and the Pop World Cup Radio Show is coming very soon too!

  10. 10
    Fernando on 12 Feb 2010 #

    When I read “electro-indie from Argentina”, I immediately thought of Miranda! Imagine my deception when I saw it was those emotionally-constipated blokes from Entre rios (Still, I hope Jonathan is keeping the big guns (“tuve”) for future matches).

  11. 11
    Steve Mannion on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Very light on their feet these Argies and playing a minimal precise game. Not an approach from them I’ve seen before so intrigued with how they will develop. Nigeria have perhaps been more predictable but if it ain’t broke why fix it. Playing to their feelgood strengths here and with an encouraging range within their well organised formation. Overall a solid display and I think they’ll clinch this.

  12. 12
    Kat but logged out innit on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Did Argentina have two players sent off in the last minute?

  13. 13
    Steve Mannion on 12 Feb 2010 #

    Ha ha yes, they seem to be just passing it between themselves in the dying seconds. Time-wasting?

  14. 14
    jeff w on 12 Feb 2010 #

    PWC site = :D

  15. 15
    Matt DC on 12 Feb 2010 #

    I have utmost respect and admiration for my opponents here – this could be a tight match despite the wildly contrasting styles on show. Argentina’s game is deeper, more restrained, perhaps even languid, but never negative, their passing is inch-perfect. The striker reminds me of someone I saw playing for one of the European teams a few years back… maybe Saint-Etienne?

  16. 16
    Jonathan Bogart on 13 Feb 2010 #

    Nigeria plays an excellent straightforward game with some extraordinarily confident passing: the nearly intuitive interplay among their side is something you don’t often see in this age of micromanaged teams and specialist players. I’m fully confident in the ability and heart of our squad, but losing to a team like this would be no shame to anyone.

  17. 17
    koganbot on 14 Feb 2010 #

    Both formations are innovative and novel – to my ears, if not to the hometown fans’. The Argentines lull you and suddenly catch you off balance. The Nigerians in contrast run back and forth in front of what the naive might call “the Cyndi Lauper” gambit. Make defenders fall over, but look so good running up the sides that you wonder if they’ll ever try to center. Those taken in by the grace of the Argentines are then at the mercy of the Argentinian power. Argentina it is, in a match the spectators find informative.

  18. 18
    iainf on 14 Feb 2010 #

    These are my favourite two so far and both got me to click to download. Real crowdpleasing spirit from Nigeria but Argentina’s gorgeous play wins out in the end.

  19. 19
    jeff w on 15 Feb 2010 #

    Two good tracks. Argentina probably edge the match due to their surprise tactics.

  20. 20
    lex on 15 Feb 2010 #

    Oh, this is no contest – I was expecting a lot more of ARG based on mid-match reports from other punters but while I’m pleased to hear something which doesn’t sound like a novelty record, it’s still kinda mimsy. And NGR is just terrific in every way.

  21. 21
    weej on 16 Feb 2010 #

    A bold strategy by Argentina here, but it’s won it for me.

  22. 22
    JimD on 16 Feb 2010 #

    Couldn’t choose between these on first listen, but after a few days the lack of a memorable chorus has cost ARG. While the Nigerian entry is pretty much all chorus.

  23. 23
    CarsmileSteve on 17 Feb 2010 #

    as argentinian manager in 2006 i would like to point out the change in format for this competition would have allowed me a much better chance of progressing last time! i still think arbol’s knock it up to the big lad was the right option to take, not wanting to waste my star talent too early…

    not too sure about this argentine track though, almost a bit too tippy-tappy, even if the nigerians have gone for an honest workmanlike formation…

  24. 24
    Tom on 18 Feb 2010 #

    This one ends TONIGHT so keep voting

  25. 25
    Tom on 19 Feb 2010 #

    A draw – a result which leaves group B wide open! Four teams on a point apiece. It’s Nigeria-Greece and Korea-Argentina next (well, in a few weeks)

  26. 26
    Matt DC on 19 Feb 2010 #

    IT IS WIDE OPEN. That said this was certainly one of the tougher opening games of the tournament, for both sides. I’m still hopeful at getting out of the group but on this form I’d very much like Argentina to do so too.

  27. 27
    weej on 24 Jun 2012 #

    Freakytrigger ahead of the game once again – http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jun/23/d-banj-interview-nigerian-music-star

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