The last of our 32 teams take the field of pop: Spain open their campaign against Switzerland. Spain’s Alberto is new to pop management at this level: his opposite number in the Swiss dugout is Greg Fanoe. Good luck to them both!

Voting for this match closes at midnight on the 11th March.

SPAIN: Juniper Moon – “¿Volverás” The manager says – “Spain’s rookie manager faces the tough task of making his debut in international pop against Switzerland, the winners of EuroPop 2008. In preparation for this difficult challenge the Spanish training staff practiced many different formations and tactics. In the end he has decided for a direct and fast-paced approach, hoping to catch the Swiss by surprise. The organized chaos by Juniper Moon will hopefully confuse the reigning EuroPop champions enough to take the 3 points back to Madrid.”

SWITZERLAND: Touch El Arab – “Muammar” The manager says – “Touch El Arab are apparently a Swiss one hit wonder from 1987. I have absolutely no idea what this song is about but it’s really pretty and atmospheric and nicely bloopy. It also has a really catchy sample.”

Group H Match 2: Which track did you prefer? [ballot]

  • Spain: Juniper Moon 71%
  • Switzerland: Touch El Arab 29%

Total Voters: 68

Poll closes: 11 Mar 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis: “A beguiling approach from the Swiss but somewhat one-paced – Spain on the other hand are a little more ragged in their passing and crossing but have speed and energy on their side.”

RESULT! New Zealand 3 Slovakia 1: It may not have drawn much of a crowd but this was a fine performance from New Zealand, who soon took complete control of the game despite a bright start from Slovakia. “Slovakia shows a few nice moves to begin, but, unfathomably, from about 1 min 20 sec on they just start passing the ball around themselves at the back, never to be seen again. This back-line needs a bass-line to stand a chance of success.” “NZ mutant disco v. the Slovak Jack Johnson (straight faced or not)? The Kiwis have it.” “NZL go out and win it with a forthright, attacking disco-revival performance; solid rather than spectacular, but I like the way the playfulness of the vocals overcomes what initially seems like harshness.”

Coming Up! Next week you’re in the capable hands of Tim Hopkins and Steve Hewitt who will be masterminding the second batch of group stage matches. South Africa take on Uruguay on Monday, then France play Mexico on Tuesday with the loser facing an end to their qualification hopes.