The first round in Group C left pop-soccer heavyweights England disappointed by a loss and in need of a good result in round 2. Conversely, Algeria won their opening game and are looking to press on to qualification. It’s an unexpectedly big match and the managers will have been thinking carefully about tactics. Won’t they?

Voting for this match ends at midnight on 22 March

ENGLAND: Sukshinder Shinda – “Wanga Chanke Ke” The Manager Says: “After the last match, the team regrouped over cups and tea and lengthy discussions about their fanbase, cultural identity and which is the best kind of biscuit. The end result was a team newly motivated, with this boshing, fun Bhangra track. The team are now focussed on keeping the spirit of the game alive and hope to see fans dancing in the stands.

ALGERIA:  Rachid Taha – “Jungle Fiction” The manager says: “Well, Brian, after the confidence we gained through SMASHING the mighty Slovenia 2-1 in our first game, we might easily have rested on our laurels. Instead I have brought in new striker Rachid Taha, and deployed an entirely novel and unexpected formation, with a jungle backline because we needed a bit of English steel at the back, a swirling Algerian midfield and an attacking ‘surf guitar’ system coached by American Dick Dale, with some Morricone-style spaghetti western horns for some added Spanish flair. I think it’s a combination any nation would find hard to stop, and we are optimistic about getting a result in this match against one of the undoubted giants of the world pop game. We know they are desperate for a win after losing to the US in their first game, but we are ready to spring some surprises. (I realize that spaghetti western = Spanish might sound odd to some, but the great Leone ones were filmed in Spain, of course.)”

Commentary Box Analysis: “The commentary box is all a-flutter, and not just because “Wanga Chanka Ke”is the classic commentators nightmare.  Many observers will be looking a little embarrassed today as this morning’s previews turn out to be way off the mark. This may be a complex game of second-guessing as neither side plays the tactics traditionally associated with their national sides. But who cares when the game is this good: high-tempo, high impact, high quality. We’ll be amazed if the game ends with 22 players on the pitch.”

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

  • Sukshinder Shindra - "Wanga Chanke Ke" (England) 63%
  • Rachid Taha - "Jungle Fiction" (Algeria) 37%

Total Voters: 52

Poll closes: 22 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Result! Group A: France 4 Mexico 2: A hugely enjoyable and high-scoring game. It was looking close through the first half but France stretched away in the second, and in the end the result was clear. “This is possibly my game of the tournament so far” “Easy win for France here I’d say – their lightness is a virtue, Mexico just feel lightweight.” “Mexico song is fab! This is why 70s pop trounces all other decades for pop, people.” “The French play a vulnerable, open game, but make no mistakes, their deceptively slow and subtle shifts keeping the Mexicans off-balance.” “What a match! Both sides fighting hard for survival. Really hard to choose between these two, both would beat 90% of what we’ve had so far.

Coming up: Time for the second round of matches in Group D, starting with a match-up between two teams looking to kick-start their tournaments after a losing start: Germany take on Serbia. Both teams should be stretching themselves for success – it should be a good ‘un.