Hello there, due to Tom’s ridiculously busy life and burgeoning media profile (you’ve all read Shiny Shiny, right?), Tim and I will be taking over putting the PWC tracks up for the next few weeks.

We start the second round of matches with a scrap for group supremacy between South Africa and Uruguay. A win for either team here would almost guarantee them a place in the last sixteen, so Isabel and Jim will no doubt have been sweating over their seleção…

This match will end at midnight on March 14th* – for now, get voting.

*oops, gave you 8 days originally, will close on sunday night now

SOUTH AFRICA: Mapaputsi – “Izinja” The manager says – “Straight in and no messin’! Attack with men forward and leave “the dog”, our very tough defender, covering at the back.

URUGUAY: Opa – “Botija de me Pais” The manager says: With 3 points in the bag we can afford to be a little more experimental this time round, so here’s Opa. The intro is creepy and great – it makes me think of funky little goblins chanting in a cave. The song proper is a gorgeously smooth bit of nu-candombe, with a chorus which has a touch of the Bee Gees about it. But those goblins keep coming back, and the song really takes off when they storm the mountain in the last minute or two – the final 20 seconds are UNDERWORLD TRIUMPHANT! (Um, I’ve no idea what the words are really about, sorry)

Group A Match 3: Which track did you prefer? [ballot]

  • South Africa: Mapaputsi 71%
  • Uruguay: Opa 29%

Total Voters: 51

Poll closes: 14 Mar 2010 @ 23:58

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Commentary Box Analysis: “Well Brian, two rather different tactics here, Uruguay are very laidback caressing the ball around not unlike a South American Steely Dan. But what’s that? Oh, even men with steel hearts love to see a dog on the pitch with the South Africans there.  Could easily go either way this one…”

RESULT: Cote D’Ivoire 3 Portugal 1: Well It looks like the Portuguese tactics didn’t quite pay off here as CIV power past them. This is stunning play from the Ivory Coast though, fast, fluent, powerful and incessant. Ivory Coast continually cut out passes, and after 25 shots in the general direction of the goal finally a couple go in. the sheer loose energy of it is ridiculously good. No contest; Côte d’Ivoire just mop the field with their competition, and this from a man who’d be rooting for Portugal any other day.

Coming up: France and Mexico are both desperate for a win to avoid elimination. Even at this early stage Pop World Cup faces its first decider.