May 10

Pop World Cup 2010: Fourth Quarter Final – Cameroon 2 Spain 1

FT/15 comments • 937 views

Can it be that this is the last of our Quarter Finals? So Soon? After this, just four games left in the PWC, and one of those is the third place play-off. We are moving so quickly towards the end of this particular road, and here in the commentary box we are enjoying the ride. Two teams who’ve weaved a mazy path through the tournament meet today to battle for the right to progress. On one hand, Weston Debevec’s Cameroon, stronger and stronger as the tournament progresses, the manager’s teamtalks drawing attention (and pressure) away from his consistently fine team. On the other, Alberto’s Spain team, perhaps as flexible as any in the whole PWC: there’s no way of knowing what formation will turn up on the day. Onwards!

This match closes at midnight on Thursday 27th May

CAMEROON: Eko – “Kilimanjaro My Home” The Manager Says: “The heavens moved at one hundred and twenty five bpm. Techno is everything that is potential, and it is everything that is cyclical, and it is everything that is mystical, and it is everything that is ritualistic. Techno is a religion and also an atheism. Techno is a Zen, it is a Tao, it is a mantra, it is a sutra. It’s a litany about everything and nothing in the transcendent. Techno tells people about things. It tells people all about themselves, all about their place in nature. Techno shows us that words are less than everything. Techno is what is outside the text. Techno is beyond the end of history. Techno. Techno. Techno. Techno. Techno is as empty as anything else. Techno looks back at the panopticon and gives it the finger. Techno is an incredulity towards meta-musics. Techno. Techno is the cultural logic of late nights. Techno is finding the key to the cage but refusing to break yourself out. Techno is just music. Dare to techno.”

SPAIN: La Mala Rodriguez – “Nanai” The Manager Says: “After failing to get out of the group in the Euros two years ago, beating CIV and reaching is a huge success for us and back home the fans filled the streets in celebration.

Here in South Africa however, we are completely focused on our next match against Cameroon (no comment therefore on the rumors linking me to the soon-to-be vacant Real Madrid job. I am honored of course, but my priorities are now with the national side).

For the quarter final we will switch to a hip-hop formation led by La Mala Rodriguez. We are confident that the flamenco flavored rap, honed with the likes of Akon, SFDK, Nelly Furtado and Julieta Venegas, in “Nanai” (loosely translated as “nuh-uh”) will help us reach the semi-final.”

Quarter Final 4: which track do you prefer?

  • CAMEROON: Eko 58%
  • SPAIN: La Mala Rodriguez 42%

Total Voters: 55

Poll closes: 27 May 2010 @ 23:59

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Commentary Box Analysis We can’t believe we’ve fallen for it again, but once more the Cameroon manager has thrown us off-balance with his pre-match talk: here’s us expecting some Afrotechno monster and his team organises itself into a really slinky Afrofunk formation. Spain show yet more flexibility and hit us with an unfamiliar hip-hop style. We’ve come to expect games as strong as this at this stage, the win will depend on whose wingers can make it to be byline and whip those hard crosses into our heads.

Coming up From here, the semi finals, which start the week after next (check the minisite for the schedule, if you haven’t already). From there, the ultimate world pop prize.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 21 May 2010 #

    Spain combine a tight back line with a ragged midfield and a fiery frontman. They’re an endearing outfit but they are up against tough opposition. Cameroon play with lots of space using one touch passing and crosses. Given that Kilimanjaro is in Tanzania there may be questions raised about the eligibility of the CAM striker and his homesickness may be a distraction that Spain can exploit.

  2. 2
    logged-out Tracer Hand on 21 May 2010 #

    Eko may not be techno but that introductory kickdrum gets your body thinking along those lines. I think this is fabulous!

    Spain appear determined to deny Cameroon today – and that back line may just hold. But playing for a draw at this level won’t be enough..

  3. 3
    Tom on 21 May 2010 #

    That descending strings set-piece midway through the Cameroon track has to be one of the best individual goals of the tournament!

    Even aside from that I think this is the best track of the quarter-finals – big hooks, expansive, gorgeous detail, a languid frontman ably backed up by the backing vocalists on the wing supplying him with cross after cross.

    Heartbreakingly, Spain have played the SECOND best track of the quarter-finals in response: love the way the chunkiness of the beats and the flightiness of the singing rub against one another. But I think CAM have to get my tick here.

  4. 4
    Erithian on 21 May 2010 #

    Spain’s track isn’t too bad but, in the words of Kevin Keegan after his last match as England’s manager, just comes up a little short at this level. Whereas Cameroon have a magnificent match – must admit my heart sank when their manager (who makes Jose Mourinho sound like Sir Alf) burbled on about techno and I saw the track was seven and a half minutes long. But the wonderful thing about them is you never know what’s coming next – one minute there’s that string set-piece Tom enthused about, the next the drummer is performing a Cruijff turn of his own. It’s total pop football, unpredictable and very impressive.

    Spain win then. (No, just kidding.)

  5. 5
    Matt DC on 21 May 2010 #

    It’s a good job I’m voting tactically here because I have no idea which of these I prefer. Magnificent stuff from both teams – Spain’s is just banging and the move from mysterious faux-Middle Eastern singing to rapping keeps things buzzing along nicely. But yeah, that string swoop in the middle of the Cameroon song… DAMN.

  6. 6
    thefatgit on 21 May 2010 #


    I make no apologies here.

  7. 7
    koganbot on 22 May 2010 #

    Lots of crosses in from the periphery from Cameroon, while Spain bangs up the middle. Excellent play on both sides, but I’m going with the bangers here. Spain.

  8. 8
    >T on 23 May 2010 #

    I’ve grown bored with the Cameroon song… it’s going on and on and on… If I compare it with the teamefforts of their neighbours, the Nigerian and Ghanese teams in the previous battle, I have to say that the Cameroon contribution is the least of the three.

    The Spanish site play a fresh, energetic style.

  9. 9
    Tom on 27 May 2010 #

    This last quarter-final ends tonight. IT IS CLOSE. Germany-South Korea kind of close? Could be. So, if you haven’t already, VOTE.

  10. 10
    Richard on 27 May 2010 #

    Quality track stars at work here! Cameroon edges out Spain based on overall drive and effort

  11. 11
    flahr on 27 May 2010 #

    This is the first time I’ve seen either of these teams play – as the match started I cringed, wondering if all the unimpressed whispers I’d heard about the Cameroon side were true. But after the first minute they found a drive and energy that blew me out of the water. They work so tightly as a unit, reminiscent of Beckenbauer’s Hungary at their best – each player given the space to play to their individual strength, but pixel-perfect passing when they needed to get up the pitch. The instrumental break goes straight into the back of the net from the halfway line. And those joyous strings – I’ve not seen verve like that since ELO.
    Spain ultimately outclassed, sadly. It’s a team I’d like to have seen go further, but not every team can go through, and for all their attack power too many times they tried to go up the middle and shoot for the top left corner – and no matter how hard you blast it, if the defender’s already moved there waiting for you you’ve got no hope. I’d love to see Spain practising beforehand – I’m sure their exercises flow beautifully – but theirs is the type of game that just doesn’t work when you’re facing a clever team like Cameroon.

  12. 12
    jeff w on 27 May 2010 #

    Spain playing a perfectly respectable game here, but Cameroon’s disco is pushing all my buttons, even if the song could afford to be a minute or so shorter. A fairly easy choice in the end.

  13. 13
    Tom on 28 May 2010 #

    It’s Cameroon! Ahead by that superb individual goal from the string section – Spain fought hard and drew level but Cameroon scored again with minutes on the clock and a weary Spain couldn’t find an answer.

    Commiserations to Spain – this was both team’s best songs of the contest so far I thought: a worthy quarter final. This means we’ll definitely have an African finalist, since Cameroon’s next opponents are Nigeria.

  14. 14
    Alberto on 28 May 2010 #

    Well, from the start the comments predicted a victory for Cameroon. After Tom’s comment from yesterday (#9) we briefly got our hopes up, but those were brutally dashed by the following comments. Really can’t argue with the end result as I feel we came up against one of the best African songs of the tournament (apart from KANGAROOO!).

    Finally there’s nothing more to say than that it was great fun to be a part of this and heartfelt congratulations to Cameroon!

  15. 15
    Weston Debevec on 31 May 2010 #

    My sincere thanks to everyone that voted. I feel that Spain’s track was one of the best I’ve heard in the tournament.

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