Mar 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Group B – Argentina 0 Korea Republic 1

FT/31 comments • 1,044 views

The first round of games in Group B finished all square – draws all round. It’s a position to conjure with, as fancied outfits try to recover from the disappointments of points dropped, while outsiders find their confidence boosted by points unexpectedly gained. Anything could happen from here, but failure at this stage could be fatal for any of the four teams.

Voting for this match ends at midnight on 15 March

ARGENTINA: Bersuit Vergarabat – “EL GORDO MOTONETA” The Manager Says: “Against such a glittering pop powerhouse as Korea, I’ve chosen to let my team play in its preferred style, Buenos Aires Rock & Roll. Fans with long memories may notice some similarities to an older pop squad fielded by England in the late 70s (starts with C, ends with LASH), but I want to quash any rumors floating around that they’ve been getting training from American free agent Ted Leo behind my back; this is pure homegrown talent.”

KOREA REPUBLIC:  T-ara – “BO PEEP BO PEEP” The Manager Says:  “As far as I can tell, this song is about telling one’s lover they should be your docile sheep. That’s the kind of unconventional approach I rate highly come squad selection time. It’s also a difficult track to mark, its bubblegum bounce disguising a relentless martial drive; caught off my line during training camp, I could only sit there as T-ara coolly buried their chorus deep inside my brain. Baa.”

Commentary Box Analysis: “Where flesh and blood are pitted against wires and electricity, we can see a classic pop battle. Argentina’s boss seems to be saying “just go out there and express yourself, lad”, and it results in some great moments, though there is a lingering suspicion of uncertainty about formation. Korea Republic, conversely, essay the pure joys of strict tactical patterns, but will those tactics prove too restrictive against a more flexible opponent? Both teams have their principles about how to play the game, and both deliver solidly on their own terms. In this tournament, unlike previous years, it’s not at all clear which style will emerge victorious.”

Group B Match 3: which track did you prefer?

  • ARGENTINA: Bersuit Vergarabat - "EL GORDO MOTONETA" 29%

Total Voters: 55

Poll closes: 18 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Result! Chile 1 Honduras 3 A typically enjoyable early-stage game, as both teams savour moving from the training camp to the dreamed-of tournament. Some surprise that the margin of victory was so wide, when for many observers the gap between the teams was not obvious. Both sides had chances, Honduras’s high-energy forward line converted theirs into goals. There have been higher-quality matches, though: both teams may have to up their games if they are to progress far into the tournament.  “HON is good-natured summer vibes, would never object to hearing it”; “the cheery grins on the faces of the [Honduras] offense belies the serious toughness of the defensive line”; “Chile begin tentatively but some brassy moves at the back seem to invigorate the frontman”.

Coming up: More titanic pop tussles in the supertight Group B as Greece take on Nigeria: two teams desperate for the elusive three points which will take them to within touching distance of qualification.


  1. 1
    weej on 11 Mar 2010 #

    Argentina are showing themselves to be a powerhouse here – very different to the style of their first game but equally good, if not better.
    Korea aren’t terrible, but they’ve got to move away from this hyper-mainstream angle if they want people to sit up and take notice.

  2. 2
    mm on 11 Mar 2010 #

    I think it’s offensive to suggest that Korea should move away from its strength, its foundation, its trademark — mainstream pop. You play with what you do well, right? And in a tournament so enamored with its rootsy stars, Korea actually serves as the one real hyper-produced alternative and feels unique because of that.

    Bo Beep Bo Beep is as unusual as anything we’ve heard in this cup — all repetition, a punchline that isn’t a big hook as much as it’s an “aaah” after the final “beep”. Like much of its Korean ilk it’s about rhythm and attitude and consonants delivered as punches. And damn, this one gets under your skin.

  3. 3
    Tom on 11 Mar 2010 #

    Another good game, this – Argentina for me are a bit stolid rhythmically at first but capable of a surprising turn of speed in the chorus when they hit Korea on the counter. Their frontline are real scrappers, too.

    Korea, on the other hand, have pulled their game together this time and I agree with mm that they’re playing to their strengths here: it’s a very well-drilled performance. Some of the drum and synth setpieces are pretty familiar to European coaches though and I’d imagine quite easily countered.

    Korea are getting my vote here but I can see this game ending in a draw, which of course would suit neither side.

  4. 4
    Birdseed on 11 Mar 2010 #

    I’m happy to report, in strictest confidence, that my scouts have discovered weaknesses in both these opposing group teams: Argentina underplaying their pop potential, with a constant need to be middle-class and quirky leading to inefficient, showboating play; Korea meanwhile excelling in theorietical songwriting but not up to scratch – yet – in the execution, probably often caught by surprise in the field. Should Argentina bring in some more passionately played Cumbia Villeira and Korea go for its vast production.-quirk resources both teams would be more dangerous.

  5. 5
    mm on 11 Mar 2010 #

    What the Greek coach is saying, basically, is bring in all-star player SNSD.

  6. 6
    jeff w on 11 Mar 2010 #

    Ooh I have a couple of Bersuit Vergarabat albums, but not I think the one this track’s from. The South Korea track sounds mouthwatering from the description too. Looking forward to this match enormously.

  7. 7
    Matt DC on 11 Mar 2010 #

    I second Tom’s prediction of another draw here. Not madly enamoured of either team here – Argentina score an own goal by sounding like The Libertines, while South Korea doggedly stick to a formation almost identical to the one that didn’t quite work first time around. Still, this Korean track is better than the last one and tones down the autotune, which might tip the tie in their favour.

  8. 8
    lonepilgrim on 11 Mar 2010 #

    This match may be one of the more memorable of the tournament – if only because it provides a gold mine of Youtube clips of players from both sides colliding with team mates, tripping over the ball and missing a undefended goal from just a few yards. Fans of each team may make loyal supporting noises but in their hearts they will know that this is a disappointing showing and a goalless draw beckons.

  9. 9
    backfromtheb on 11 Mar 2010 #

    a word of advice to the korean manager: standing firm is respectable, but showing off isn’t illegal. the korean market has many players less stone faced and clinical, as shown in the feathery RnB of shinee’s “Noona” or Super Junior’s “It’s You”, or as in the big, hooky madness of SNSD’s Gee and Genie.

  10. 10
    Martin Skidmore on 11 Mar 2010 #

    Tepid ancient rock, more Alarm than Clash for me, vs quite jolly global-dance. No one comes away looking like a contender for being Pop World Champions, for me, but I marginally prefer the latter.

  11. 11
    Jonathan Bogart logged oot on 11 Mar 2010 #

    In retrospect leading with the Clash comparisons didn’t do my boys any favors. I should have stressed the close ties to Argentine musical history: the striker could play in the Tango Leagues with the best of them, as you can tell when he slows down, and the defensive line has a great Piazzolla-style rhythm.

    Which may not sway the judges any, but feels good to get off my chest.

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

    I’m sure I shouldn’t like the Argentinian track as much as I do. It must be the wurlitzer quietly playing in the background?

  13. 13
    jeff w on 12 Mar 2010 #

    For some reason, this post hasn’t shown up on the pwc2010 RSS feed. I thought RSS was just lagging behind as it occasionally does, but Greece v Nigeria is showing up. Was a tag missed off or something?

  14. 14
    admin on 12 Mar 2010 #

    yes, missed tag. fixed now. ta for that

  15. 15
    JimD on 12 Mar 2010 #

    The Uruguayan leagues are full of teams like this Argentinian squad, all of which I’ve rejected so far, so I’ll be keeping a close eye on the result of this one. Bo Peep wins for me though. Even though it’s sort of annoying.

  16. 16
    jeff w registered on 14 Mar 2010 #

    Genuinely torn here. Really like both tracks and am hoping for a draw. Bersuit well up to their usual smart standard. Don’t be fooled by the classic rock frame they hang their songs on. Korea’s dumbness – relative and absolute – is hard to resist though. (Is she singing “Bo Peep” or “Boff me”?) Also Stephen Hawking on guest vox always floats my boat. I will give South Korea the tick.

  17. 17
    Jonathan Bogart on 15 Mar 2010 #

    Well, Bob, I’ll only say that the South Korean team is even better than the side which got my vote in the last round, and I’m expecting a tough second half ahead. No, I don’t think it’s fair to say that their formation is particularly infantile; as you know, whatever brings home the cup is fair game in pop football.

    Well, yes, I have read some of those dissatisfied supporters saying I should have gone with a cumbia squad; and as I’m sure you know, Bersuit plays cumbia quite well. In fact one of their most famous games, “Yo Tomo” back in the 90s, helped lead to the formation of the Cumbia Villera leagues in Buenos Aires. And certainly no cards are off the table going forward.

  18. 18
    koganbot on 15 Mar 2010 #

    Seems to me that future opponent coaches are tactically trying to draw refs’ attention to supposed weaknesses and violations in the play of two excellent squads. I’ll admit that the Argentines do resort to “charming” tones that allow them to go scot free with roughness that would garner cards when done by others, but that’s part of the game. A wild and varied style of play, but they’re running into flawless play from the Koreans. “Flawless” doesn’t always win at this level, however, inspiration and dumb luck being crucial as well; but I’d say that drilling oneself day in and day out with the Stacey Q formation, then introducing Baby Madonna with Britney and Aqua at her feet, ends up with foot and ball meeting in the goal area for several scores. But the rough-throated Argentines aren’t devoid of laughing deviltry either. This is a fine match, the K-Poppers ahead by a goal midway, yet I wouldn’t be surprised if a more concentrated look at the Argentine entry in the second half reveals unnoticed strength.

  19. 19
    ask on 16 Mar 2010 #

    Where’s the result? Why the overtime?!

  20. 20
    Tom on 16 Mar 2010 #

    The closing date listed is a typo – match ends midnight tomorrow I think, before the first Group D game opens.

  21. 21
    Tim on 16 Mar 2010 #

    Yes sorry, the closing date for this should have been midnight on the 17th. I was new. That’s my excuse. Apols for the confusion.

  22. 22
    Tom on 17 Mar 2010 #

    Closes at midnight tonight – last chance to vote and rally the troops.

  23. 23
    Steve Mannion on 17 Mar 2010 #

    “Don’t lose your temper so quickly” is good advice for me today and Bo Peep motors along with the same pace and quality as SK did in their last match to seal the deal. I don’t really enjoy the approach to the game taken by the Argentinians this time so it’s a not a great stretch for T-ara to snatch the victory.

  24. 24
    CarsmileSteve on 17 Mar 2010 #

    Blimey, just getting in in injury time here, not that there’ll be more than a couple of minutes on the fourth official’s board i reckon. SK a bit lacking in thrill power to me, and, as former ARG manager I heard quite a few tracks along these lines (Arbol spring to mind), surprising how well they knock out this sort of thing…

  25. 25
    Tom on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Not nearly as tight as I was expecting here: that’s a convincing margin for South Korea. Tactically this is interesting, and since the team I’m scouting for might meet SK in the Round of 16 if we qualify I will say no more on that front!

  26. 26
    Tom on 18 Mar 2010 #

    (margin in votes I mean, not the 0-1 scoreline the judges have gone for, which on the balance of comments seems fair too)

  27. 27
    Jonathan Bogart on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Ouch. Well, no ears are infallible I suppose. Bring on Greece!

  28. 28
    Birdseed on 18 Mar 2010 #

    Oh yeah, thanks, voters, hit me with a revenge-hungry and desperate Argentina in the last round. :D

  29. 29
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  30. 30
    koganbot on 6 Oct 2011 #

    T-ara’s Japanese-language version of “Bo Peep Bo Peep” just landed at number one on the Oricon chart. FREAKY TRIGGER ONCE AGAIN AHEAD OF THE CURVE (though iirc I voted for Argentina).

  31. 31
    koganbot on 22 May 2012 #

    From the YouTube comment thread for “Bo Peep Bo Peep”:

    The song is based on a legend of a woman who (as a fox) leads strays (men) into her den seductively, but ends up killing and eating them instead. Although there are many variations on it (as seen by the portrayal of a cat in the video), this is the main idea.

    (Pertains to the video more than to the song lyrics.)

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