Feb 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group F – New Zealand 3 Slovakia 1

FT//24 comments • 996 views

The second group F game sees New Zealand and Slovakia go head to head – two Pop World Cup unknowns making their debut on the biggest stage. Both have gone for experienced managers, Steve Mannion in the Kiwis’ dugout while Julio de Souza slips on his sheepskin coat for the Slovaks.

This match will end at midnight on March 4th – for now, get voting.

NEW ZEALAND: Parallel Dance Ensemble – “Turtle Pizza Cadillac (Yam Who Rework)” The manager says: “Guys we’ve come from down under to march over the top with a fair few funky tricks up our all-black sleeves. I’ve picked a young but shrewd team and we’ll be playing a thrusting modern game, demonstrating how well NZ are adapting to a global game. Spearheading the attack for our first clash is poetic femme fatale Coco Solid up front with “good in the air” Bobbi Soxx. As you can hopefully hear, we’ve come to dance our way through this contest – feel free to join us!”

SLOVAKIA: Horkyze Slize – “R’n’B Soul” The manager says: The Slovakia manager did not attend the press conference. (Julio if you want to get a blurb featured email it to me quickly!)

Group F Match 2: Which track did you prefer?

  • New Zealand: Parallel Dance Ensemble 75%
  • Slovakia: Horkyze Slize 25%

Total Voters: 48

Poll closes: 4 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis: “It’s a pleasure to see two sides who understand there’s more to the game than all-out attack. New Zealand move the ball up the pitch quickly with a series of slick passing moves; Slovakia are more defensive but will try and break rapidly given the opportunity. The game may turn on whether Slovakia’s rapping playmaker can do the business – a commonplace tactic in European domestic competition but one which rarely succeeds at the highest level.”

RESULT! Australia 1 Germany 1: The Pop World Cup’s biggest crowd yet watched this close-fought game but fans of both teams were said to be disappointed. Germany pressed hard for their equaliser and had the better chances near the end but both sides may see 1 point as a missed opportunity. “Germany put in a solid team performance with a dynamic front man calling the shots and some incisive play from Herren Guitar und Sax.” “The Australia track is a bit ‘peppy excercise video soundtrack’ for my liking and in my opinion the Aussies should spend less time warming up and more time playing.” “Germany’s pulling out one of the creakiest formations in the playbook…ultimately too limited and ineffectual a game against an Australian side that bulldozes them in both energy and imagination” “Blog-house as reimagined by the clientele of a Walkabout pub in Shepherds Bush. Nein danke. But the GER track is just HORRIBLE.”

Coming Up! Assuming I get the tracks in time, we have Ivory Coast v Portugal on Monday and then, on Tuesday, it’s the hotly anticipated game between Brazil and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. That’s NORTH Korea, to us Western stooges.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 26 Feb 2010 #

    DId New Zealand travel to the competition on a Kon-Tiki style raft? That would explain a style of play that might have seemed fresh in the 80s but now appears tired and repetetive. Despite that they might still put one over Slovakia who, despite some attractive silky moves up front look a bit fragile at the the back.

  2. 2
    Steve Mannion on 26 Feb 2010 #

    No mate we flew Qantas.

    According to Wikip ‘R’n’B Soul’ is a parody track? I would love to know what is being said around the two minute mark when the backing lady interjects briefly.

    I think we have an interesting clash here wrt the rapping language “barrier”. Coco’s temperament and tone in English could have a Vegemite effect. In contrast the Slovak dude gambles with the audience on the basis that rapping in English could turn listeners off more than remaining not easily decipherable thus…somewhat intriguing.

  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 26 Feb 2010 #

    Some solid defensive and midfield work from the NZ side (who seem to have taken a few tips from Spåce Discø FC coach HP Lindstrøm), but their striker can’t seem to find the net. Slovakia’s game is smoother, gently knocking the ball amongst themselves, the flow only interrupted in the 85th minute by a wayward WAG wandering out onto the pitch.

  4. 4
    Matt DC on 26 Feb 2010 #

    This is a terrific match, one of the best of the tournament. Both teams have talent in spades – the Slovakians may appear to be languid but that’s only because they make it look effortless.

    New Zealand are a dark horse contender to win the tournament I think. The manager performed miracles with unfancied Togo in 2006 and I can certainly see them outlasting the Aussies if things continue this way.

    Gonna need to spend a bit more time with both tracks – at the moment the Kiwis shiny disco funk is narrowly edging it over Slovakia but that may change, it’s very narrow indeed.

  5. 5
    jeff w on 26 Feb 2010 #

    Two thumbs up for NZ. Their striker does seem to be making it up as she goes along (“Alpha beta bravo charlie delta eagle” indeed!) but I find this quite endearing rather than a weakness. Slovakia is workmanlike but as the oppo manager has been quick to point out, the players are wearing disguises. (I like the cover of their press kit though!)

  6. 6
    koganbot on 26 Feb 2010 #

    Delightful match, NZ with a rough buoyant front, a backline that kicks an accurate long ball, and beautiful dreamlike moves in the middle, which is the team’s unremarked strong point. You’d think they’d be hitting goal upon goal, but the Slovaks pick their pocket without breaking a sweat, score while NZ is busy running forward. So, with Slovakia in the early lead, will New Zealand spirits be dampened? Not likely with this vibrant squad; we’ll have to wait and see how this plays out.

  7. 7
    Ben on 27 Feb 2010 #

    The Slovaks are trying to lull the Kiwis into a false sense of security (or possibly lull them into sleep) with a very laidback attitude. But their creative midfield rappers really start to dictate the play in the second half. Parallel Dance Ensemble have a really good attacking approach throughout, consistently getting numbers in and around the opposition penalty area. And they’re more potent in front of goal too. Love the funky goal celebrations. And any song titled ‘Turtle Cadillac Pizza’ is always going to win friends amongst the neutral supporters. Cracking match, great atmosphere, but NZ just nick it for me.

  8. 8
    swanstep on 27 Feb 2010 #

    Slovakia shows a few nice moves to begin, but, unfathomably, from about 1 min 20 sec on they just start passing the ball around themselves at the back, never to be seen again. This back-line needs a bass-line to stand a chance of success.

    The Kiwis’ music is ok, but perhaps they would have done well to sing in Slovakian: ‘chili dogs’, ‘beta’ pronounced ‘baiter’,… I despair (at least in the cold light of day, or is this a night game?). They take it 1-0, but i don’t think football is the winner the day.

  9. 9
    Jonathan Bogart on 28 Feb 2010 #

    NZ mutant disco v. the Slovak Jack Johnson (straight faced or not)? The Kiwis have it.

  10. 10
    Garry on 1 Mar 2010 #

    NZ plays with well-tried tactics and an impressive though erratic striker who keeps the Slovakian defence worried but not always threatened. Slovakia play a containing game, which is difficult to break down though with a draw in mind, until a disastrous late substitution breaks the Slovakian rhythm and allows the erratic NZ striker to hit one on target.

    NZ takes it.

  11. 11
    Dave on 1 Mar 2010 #

    Hoping that the NZ “mutant disco” is firmly of the teenage mutant ninja variety — as anyone who had the Turtle Party Wagon (not to be confused with the Pizza Thrower) might guess. NZ takes the clunky thing and gives it the Cadillac treatment, a fitting metaphor for itself…

  12. 12
    Steve Mannion on 1 Mar 2010 #

    re 8 “beta’ pronounced ‘baiter'”

    what of it? beta hata!

  13. 13
    Rob on 1 Mar 2010 #

    Perhaps swanstep is a big Greece fan?

  14. 14
    swanstep on 1 Mar 2010 #

    @12,13. NZ-ers traditionally pronounce ‘beta’ as ‘beetuh’ (I thought UK-ers did too). The baituh pron. is US english. NZ-ers (like UK-ers) do zed rather than zee too (although Sesame Street’s made a dent in that over the years!).

    I was just (lightly) lamenting pop writing in US english and with a US cultural frame of reference (‘chili dogs’ don’t exist in NZ, my other quick example. But actually the whole bravo charlie tango stuff feels pretty American and vaguely militaristic to me too – US policing often has a military feel to it that it doesn’t elsewhere). A quality record/song (perhaps especially in dance music) trumps these considerations of course, and that was certainly the case for me here.

  15. 15
    Birdseed on 1 Mar 2010 #

    In the early eighties, the US was playing one of the most beautiful games of football this world has ever seen. Worth emulating or bound to end in tears? I waver but the former seems plausible, since a few modern touches in the tactical book seem to add enough freshness to see NZ through. Especially since Slovakia are so lacking in pace.

  16. 16
    Lex on 3 Mar 2010 #

    I love the hypnotic, languid SVK arrangement and gentle backing vox. But calling your song “R&B soul” does not make it so, and the bad rapping and strange squawking interjection towards the end confused me until I learned that, sadly, this is just a parody track. The kind of people who mock R&B and soul are the kind of people who should be PUT TO DEATH.

    It’s not just a case of SVK losing the match, though – NZL go out and win it with a forthright, attacking disco-revival performance; solid rather than spectacular, but I like the way the playfulness of the vocals overcomes what initially seems like harshness, it’s definitely a decent addition to the Tom Tom Club/Answering Service etc lineage.

  17. 17
    swanstep on 3 Mar 2010 #

    The kind of people who mock R&B and soul are the kind of people who should be PUT TO DEATH.
    That’s the spirit. Or at least given the comfy chair…

  18. 18
    Matt DC on 4 Mar 2010 #

    Yeah I came down on the side of New Zealand in the end as well. Finding out that the Slovakia track was a parody swung it for me – taking the piss out of the music of other countries feels like bad form in this tournament.

  19. 19
    Tom on 4 Mar 2010 #

    This match is low on votes and ends tonight!

  20. 20
    Matt DC on 5 Mar 2010 #

    Blimey, a thrashing from New Zealand in the end. Expected this to be so much closer.

  21. 21
    Tom on 5 Mar 2010 #

    I think the parody element hurt Slovakia maybe, it’s hard to keep your shape if the players think the formation’s a bit silly. Has Julio lost the dressing room?

  22. 22
    SteveM on 5 Mar 2010 #

    Yay! Very relieved to start with a win. Disappointed by the lowest attendance yet – where’d everybody go?

  23. 23
    Matt DC on 5 Mar 2010 #

    It is easier to win if you have lower attendance!

  24. 24
    koganbot on 6 Mar 2010 #

    Thought the referees were way too influenced by the press, primed to judge alleged intent rather than actual play; the phantom handball calls in the final third had me up and yelling at the screen. But fine play from both sides, my slight preference for the Slovaks notwithstanding.

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