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? [ballot]

  • 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.