More action now from the group of draws, Group B. Greece ranked as outsiders ahead of the tournament, while Nigeria were hotly tipped in some quarters to go somewhere near All The Way. But the table doesn’t lie and they go into this game all square. Defeat may leave either team contemplating an early exit and no-one wants to go home too soon to their national equivalent of Del Amitri.

Voting for this match ends at midnight on 18 March

GREECE: Haris Alexiou & Dimitra Galani – “OHI DEN PREPIThe Manager Says: “Nigeria’s world-class young squad and thorough knowledge of the modern game are a tough nut to crack. So I’m going to try something a bit different. Take the pace down quite a bit. Bring in a couple of legendary players off the bench into the starting lineup. Watch them string together beautiful combinations and set-pieces, their sensitive passes cutting through even the most cold-hearted defense. Surely.”

NIGERIA:  Kefee featuring Timaya – “KOKOROKO” The Manager Says:  “The Super Eagles of Pop seem to be winning more fans than points at this stage, which has been terrific fun but won’t stifle those mumbles of dissent from the Nigerian press much longer. There’d been some speculation that we’d go all out to kick our next opponents out of the game, but at this level it’s as much about winning hearts and minds as winning points. So our gangsta rap midfield hardmen remain on the bench in favour of a front pairing the fans at home have been clamouring to see. Nigerian pundits have been saying for years that this girl had the potential to light up the Pop World Cup, so let’s see what she do..”

Commentary Box Analysis: “Well, this is fascinating. Pundits have already been discussing the unprecedented diversity of styles and tactics deployed by the managers in this tournament and this enjoyable game confirms that view. The Greek team selected by Johan seems (literally) winsome, on first hearing. Matt’s Nigerian line-up may be a stroke of managerial genius, though: he has chosen to adopt an appealing style which plays to traditional strengths – strength – but retains an attractive and good-natured side, strong and quick but very fair indeed. Many were expecting a snarling, studs-up performance from the Nigerians here, but this more humane approach may simply outpace the Greeks.”

Group B Match 4: which track did you prefer? [ballot]

  • Kefee featuring Timaya - Kokoroko 58%
  • Haris Alexiou & Dimitra Galani - Ohi Den Prepi 42%

Total Voters: 50

Poll closes: 18 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Result! Group H: Spain 2 Switzerland 0 The last match in the first round seemed too close to call. Instead, it turned out to be a convincing win for a  Spanish team who concentrated on doing the simple things well. It seems the Swiss inclination for invention may have led them to neglect the goal a little. Still, we haven’t seen the last of this Switzerland team. The Spanish, meanwhile, could be real challengers if they have as much more to give as the pundits think. “This Spanish side isn’t to be taken lightly: high-octane to be sure, but far from being brutish or relying on pure muscle.” “The Spaniards have so much energy! They keep running and running and by the end they look as though they could go for another 90.” “The Swiss team are content to play a deeper, slower, passing game but they certainly know how to surprise.” “SUI track really is something, its deeply odd mix of constituent parts works against all the odds.” “The Swiss song is as boring as long. The Spanish entry is full of vigour.”

Coming up: On to the second round of games in Group C: Slovenia follow the disappointment of their recent narrow defeat (to an Algerian team who surprised many with their quality) by lining up against one of the undisputed giants of pop football: the USA.