Feb 14

PWC14: Group C Match 2 (Japan, Cote D’Ivoire, Colombia, Greece)

Pop World Cup 201422 comments • 2,386 views

especia Group C’s second game finds a confirmation that David Cooper Moore has been given the Colombia manager’s job full-time after impressing with his urgent substitution in Game 1. He’ll be looking to build on a point, while Japan (Patrick St Michel) and Cote D’Ivoire (Garry McKenzie) seek to capitalise on strong starts. Rounding out the group is Greece (Billy Dods) – yet to find the net. All of that could change with your votes!

4 tracks, 2 votes, below the cut – as well as news of our first ELIMINATION.

JAPAN: Especia – “Midnight Confusion”
Current Points: 3

“The Japanese squad grabbed the field’s attention and trampled through our first match, and now we enter phase two – showing our playful side off. We want to charm the world this time around (and conserve some energy), and Osaka girl-group Especia’s bouncy ‘Midnight Confusion’ works wonder. It’s catchy but also a bit unpredictable (that saxophone solo!) and comes with a hell of a chorus. Eyes on us, hopefully.”

COTE D’IVOIRE: Meiway ft Black Kent – “Couvre Feu”
Current Points: 2

“Cote D’Ivoire management are happy with the enthusiasm and energy shown by the team in the first round, but feel a few tactical tweaks are required . After packing the midfield in the opening game we’ve decided to switch to a zouk-kompa formation with two strikers to give us a more direct route to goal. This allows our veteran target man Meiway to forge a slick partnership with Black Kent playing in his usual free(style) role.”

COLOMBIA: Esteman ft Monsieur Perrine – “Ooh La La”
Current Points: 1

“After a grueling scramble to substitute in Match 1, the Colombian team catches its breath with a textbook Skiffle Charm Offense. Don’t let the light fancy footwork here fool you — Colombia is regrouping for a big play down the line.”

GREECE: Bang La Decks – “Utopia”
Current Points: 0

“Monika gained some plaudits for her possession game, but unfortunately played too deep and couldn’t convert this to points. For this round I’ve opted for a more pressing game and have called up to the squad Athens hottest duo, Bang La Decks. In the past year they’ve created a big splash in the Balkan and Greek leagues, but can their sound translate to the world stage? Utopia is their second single and shows they’re not afraid to mix things up. Will it be enough to get the Greek campaign off the ground?”


C2: Which TWO tracks do you pick?

  • GREECE: Bang La Decks 63%
  • COTE D'IVOIRE: Meiway ft Black Kent 54%
  • JAPAN: Especia 48%
  • COLOMBIA: Esteman ft M. Perrine 25%

Total Voters: 67

Poll closes: 6 Mar 2014 @ 13:00

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THE RESULTS: Our first DRAW of the Pop World Cup 2014 in Group A, as both Brazil and Cameroon grab 2.5 points. Croatia get 1 and Mexico get 0. What does this mean for the group? It’s bad news for Mexico – failure to score in either game means they cannot now quality for the knockout stages – they’ll be playing for pride in Game 3. It’s not great news for Croatia either, their 2 points give them only the slenderest chance of progress. Brazil are almost home and dry on 4.5 points, and Cameroon have are through to the knockouts with 5.5. So not quite “all to play for”, but this group hasn’t let the listener down yet and I expect the final group game to be an exciting proposition anyhow.


  1. 1
    lartsaegis on 27 Feb 2014 #

    Is the poll code broken? In any case I’m going to need some extended playtime for this group, I don’t know who should net the second point on first impressions thus far.

  2. 2
    Tom on 27 Feb 2014 #

    The poll code was broken! All I can think is that it didn’t like the upper-case P on Poll. Weird.

  3. 3
    thefatgit on 27 Feb 2014 #

    Ha! Now we can vote.

    Japan are so confident in this group, they can employ an ’80s pop formation and play without inhibition. Not sure if this is Girls Just Wanna Have Fugu or Desperately Seeking Sushi, perhaps both? It’s fun and colourful. Just what you’d expect from J Pop. Big tick!

    Cote D’Ivoire’s strike partnership are lining up to score heavily, like Drogba and Kalou themselves. And this is so Ivorian in flavour it very nearly got my other vote but hang fire! What are the Greeks up to?

    I wasn’t expecting to find the Bang La Decks boys so engaging, but the crazy horns! Wow! I know this might have some fans wailing in protest, but a game defence can be as admirable as a strong attack. This sort of play usually has me lingering by the pie stand well into the second half but I’m swayed by the shameless hands-in-the-air holiday rave vibe of this. Summer Is Coming.

    Colombia would be a shoo-in if they were in a weaker group, but their skiffley buskery attacks break apart against the Spartan shields those Greek horns represent. Perhaps a little too laid back compared to what else is on show here.

    This group has been genuinely surprising. I can’t say for sure who’ll progress alongside Japan

  4. 4
    Chelovek na lune on 27 Feb 2014 #

    Another close round, some high quality tunes here…

    Greece – gosh, like being at a rave with added Balkans trad instrumentation to accompany the beats, up among the clouds no doubt. It’s not bad, but seems a bit too insubstantial to win me over. The horns annoy me, the chanting before their first appearance could have won me over, they reach out to afar….then there’s a bloody crowd almost blowing vuvuzelas in your face everywhere to spoil the fun under the misapprehension that that is in fact fun. Hmm. Against less tough competition this might have gone through, but here they are outclassed, just.

    Japan – Blimey, late 80s US FM pop radio put through the mix, giving a game of “just what does this sound most like?” Something that hit big Stateside but not in Britain 1988ish I think most likely. Michael Morales with added female vocalists? A Taylor Dayne album track or B-side. (It’s not QUITE that good to make it to A-side). Sa-fire? Sweet Sensation? Still, minor league Brilliant, just a bit wacky with it. A playful, and, the video suggests, knowing, tribute to a style of game that has, in all honestly, been surpassed, but which can still, when done skilfully, inspire devotion. Main criticism here: maybe two minutes too long. And in a round this tight, it counts against them…

    Colombia – starts off with a glance to Paris bygone, and stays rather lovely and eccentric, tweets around a bit, remains charming and doesn’t quite lose its way. High quality stuff. Better than the street kick-a-bout it appeared to be at first listen, this can kick it alongside the big boys.

    Côte d’Ivoire – quick off the mark. An agreeable melange of different styles, that gel well together, with a wee bit of eccentricity and character to accompany the footballing efficiency, just when it appeared that no, French really doesn’t work as a language for rap, but then the French rap bit is over, so, well… Yet more evidence in support of the proposition that Africa play Pop Football way better, and way more consistently, than any other continent. This is fabulous.

  5. 5
    Speedwell54 on 28 Feb 2014 #

    The tournament is hotting up!

    This is the first close call for me and I think I’ll have to sleep on it. After being really certain of my one, two for the previous seven matches (I inadvertently missed the opener) I am struggling with a three way tie; Japan, Columbia and Greece.

    Just looking back at the results so far I have voted more for 3rd and 4th place, than for 1st and 2nd but it’s a reasonable spread. If anyone’s running a book, I’m out!

  6. 6
    Ed on 28 Feb 2014 #

    It’s shame to lose Mexico, who last time out played with a style reminiscent of some of the great Manchester sides of the late 1980s. But there are no easy games at this level of pop football.

  7. 7
    Zahid Hasan on 28 Feb 2014 #

    Keep focusing on your blog.I love how we can all express our feelings .This is an extremely nice blog here…

  8. 8
    Tom on 28 Feb 2014 #

    As always I am focused on training and coaching my blog.

  9. 9
    Alan not logged in on 28 Feb 2014 #

    i think there might be a problem with the Colombian track.

    I have replaced the file with a more URL friendly filename

  10. 10
    lonepilgrim on 28 Feb 2014 #

    Troubles with the feed from the host nation have delayed commentary here but have allowed for some reflection on some closely fought matches.
    Each side has strengths and weaknesses and victory may come down to an unlucky deflection or a poor decision from a linesman.
    Japan gave us a glimpse of the future last time, wrong footing their opponents with some unpredictable moves. Resorting to retro tactics may be another mind game but one that opponents could quickly adapt to – and overcome.
    Cote D’Ivoire dazzle with their frequent changes of strip and impressive interplay between the two front men. They really apply the pressure in the second half and edge the match for me.
    I’m charmed by the Columbian team. There is an old school elegance to their twists and turns and some precise passing. However they are a little tentative in front of goal and scoring opportunities look limited.
    Greece have upped their game considerably, with an impressive mix of old and new. With no clear front man the attacking balls may come from anywhere.

  11. 11
    Tom on 3 Mar 2014 #

    The Group D update will be up later tonight, by the way.

  12. 12
    Tom on 4 Mar 2014 #

    This one needs votes!

    All about the Greeks for me, this game – whatever the gaffer’s said to them before the match, it’s clearly worked, and this performance is full of national pride. Bewitching stuff, unrecognisable from the first game.

    You could say the same of Japan, who have come in for some criticism in the commentary box – short-sighted in my view, we know they’re a versatile side and this track would be grabbed with both hands by plenty of managers out there. It’s a decent attacking performance even if it never quite gets out of second gear – its only real flaw is that it’s outperformed on the joy front by the effervescent Ivoirians (is Meiway playing in his second Pop World Cup by the way? The name is very familiar).

    As for Colombia, it’s likeable stuff and they’ve had the misfortune to land in what’s looking like a stronger group than many gave credit for. I hope they do enough to stay in contention for the third game but I can’t see them winning this.

  13. 13
    weej on 4 Mar 2014 #

    A surprising formation from Japan here, reminiscent of the classic USA squad of 1986. It was effective back then, but does it cut it now? Reckon it might do, at a push, if only because nobody’s tried it for such a long time.

    More traditional play from the Ivory Coast, only this time with a modern sheen, very nice passing, but wish they’d make more shots on goal, and after half-time you can tell they’re a spent force.

    Fairly unimaginative pop football from Colombia, but their (female) answer to Luis Suarez makes up for it with her domination of play. Will it be enough to earn them more than a point though?

    Unexpected style of play from Greece, not sure if it would be so effective against stronger opposition, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from the scoreline. A point here too.

  14. 14
    Garry on 4 Mar 2014 #

    Hi Tom – The Cote D’Ivoire’s team in 2010 was made up of Bab Lee, Magic System ft. Akil, Cheb Bilal & Big Ali, Tangara Speed Ghoda and Soum Bill. I was an avid spectator at that one.

    Meiway has been a performer since the late 70s so he could have appeared in 2006 but I couldn’t find any info on that Pop World Cup. Was it on on LJ? Apologies if I’ve accidentally doubled up.

  15. 15
    Tom on 4 Mar 2014 #

    It’s a legit doubling-up even if so – there’s no rule against reusing performers! If he was in 2006 it wasn’t with the same track, anyhow.

  16. 16
    Ed on 5 Mar 2014 #

    @4 Causing A Commotion? Signs of complacency from Japan here after they won by a cricket score on their first outing.

    Colombia, meanwhile, are shown the yellow card for building the side around ‘Fou De Fafa’ by Flight of the Conchords.

    So it’s comfortable wins for Greece and Cote D’Ivoire. They are both good songs and could probably have overcome much stiffer opposition, but you can only beat what’s put in front of you.

  17. 17
    Matt DC on 5 Mar 2014 #

    Terrible backpass from Japan in the opening bars means the opposition go straight up the other end and score. I’m not sure where they think they’re going with all these lurching key changes but it’s sloppy play that sabotages a pop song that might otherwise be in with a shout of topping the group.

    Cote D’Ivoire are always entertaining but this is an odd mix of free-flowing flair play in the verses and lumping it desperately upfield in the chorus. The ‘ohhh-eh-ohhh’ chorus may be a commercial banker these days but it’s difficult to find anyone who really enjoys it. Still, there’s loads of fun stuff going on elsewhere, enough to get my vote.

    Colombia are sadly outgunned at this level, it’s an enjoyable enough song but a bit like watching a game in black and white against the technicolor on show elsewhere.

    Which leaves Greece, who are recovering from a moving but tactically suicidal first game by going completely the other way, and what a side this is. Proof you don’t need an orthodox frontman, because bonkers bosh is clearly the way to go here.

  18. 18
    Tom on 6 Mar 2014 #

    Greece are right back in it, Japan looking shaky all of a sudden, Cote D’Ivoire holding steady – and I think Colombia can still mathematically qualify, but it would need a really massive win.

  19. 19
    Billy on 6 Mar 2014 #

    A morale boosting victory for the Greek team. Instead of packing our bags, I have a pleasant problem to deal with as a number of tracks vie for the final group match. The pressing game played dividends but using the same approach again is likely to lead to diminishing returns.

  20. 20
    Garry on 7 Mar 2014 #

    Beaten by a winner so worthy I voted for them. I actually loved all four tracks though the Japanese track should have faded with an extended sax solo to get that true 80s feeling.

    So back to the training field for Cote D’Ivoire with everything to play for and some big questions – whether to hold true to Ivorian rhythms or a tactical shift.

  21. 21
    Erithian on 11 Mar 2014 #

    Darn, left it way too late to vote but the margins were fairly clear-cut anyway – Ivory Coast for me with Colombia second. Greece not my cup of tea at all and the Japanese song was Gerry and the Pacemakers to Girls Generation’s Beatles. (Not that I’m equating the two.)

  22. 22
    koganbot on 24 Mar 2014 #

    Meiway’s “Miss Lolo” won Group C for Cote D’Ivoire back in ’06 when the Pop World Cup was on lj. Here’s the tag:


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