This group’s as tight as anything. Any of the four could go through, any of the four could go out. This is not time for letting up or blooding the weaker squad members. This is a time for giving it everything and worrying the knockout rounds if and when it comes to that.

This match closes at midnight on Tuesday 13th April

USA: Mascott – “Oh Peggy!” The Manager Says: “If I have one rule about selecting tracks for the Pop World Cup it is to only keep half an eye on the opposition. And after considering the possible run-ins with the copyright police for a number of tracks I might choose, I decided instead to take my favourite US musical memory of last year to play direct but pretty football for me. Mascott, Kendall Meade’s short sharp pop song making MACHINE represent for the native USA with the string heavy UK only bonus track from their Art Project album of last year, which was also their set opener on their live dates in London. As a statement of intent you don’t get any better, Kendall’s terrific singing voice strapped to a supple but sweet song. This feels like a must win game for me, Algeria are strong, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they are going to play to their strengths which may also equal lengths. Can beauty soothe the savage Algerian beast and put us into the final sixteen? I hope so. Mascott Website

Algeria: Cheb Khaled – “Hada Raykoum” The Manager Says: “After mighty Algeria disappointed everyone by losing to the pop minnows of England, the papers back in Algeria are calling for me to be sacked, but thankfully we have a chance to redeem ourselves against little USA, a match our press expects us to stroll through. But I’ve been around long enough to know there are no easy games in Pop World Cup, and I respect all opponents, however inexperienced in big games, so I’m not taking anything for granted. I’ve brought in veteran star Cheb Khaled for this, arguably Africa’s greatest ever player, hoping his extraordinarily sinuous movement will be too much for the USA, who might well be intimidated by playing at this level. I’m putting my job on the line – if the USA manage to pull off a giant-killing act against us, I will offer my resignation, but I am optimistic of leading my team into the second round.”

Group C Match 6: Which of these tracks do you prefer? [ballot]

  • USA - Mascott 51%
  • ALGERIA - Cheb Khaled 49%

Total Voters: 61

Poll closes: 13 Apr 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis: This Algerian side is mighty strong, if a little slow to get going at the first whistle: “extraordinarily sinuous movement” the manager called for and the team delivers. The press conferences before the game had some suggesting the US manager was displaying a previously-unsuspected sentimental side, but this may turn out to be an inspired choice. Pop piquancy may be the best answer to Algeria on this form, and it all adds up to an intriguing match.

Coming up: Onwards, onwards to group D, where Germany will be looking for a win to secure a place in the next round, against an already-qualified Ghana team with a 100% record. Will Ghana be resting key players?