leila The second Group F match finds Nigeria (managed by Cis) in pole position, riding a wave of appreciation for African pop. Charged with getting past them are Iran (Wichita Lineman) and Argentina (Chris B) with Bosnia-Herzegovina (Scott M) needing points quickly.

As usual, you have two votes between the four tracks. The poll is below the cut, and so is the Group D results, with a second team exiting the tournament….

NIGERIA: Temi Dollface – “Pata Pata”
Current Points: 3

“Here at Team Naija we’re delighted with the support our first team received from the crowd, and you’ll detect a little of the same retro flair to this next squad’s visual performance. Everything else, though, we’re switching up: more menace, more bass, a sharper hook, and a more eccentric line past the opposition.”

IRAN: Leila – “Eight”
Current Points: 2

“Strongly reminiscent of late 90s electronica – misty-eyed, melodic, lovely shifting synth chords – Leila summons up the spirit of Boards Of Canada, Isan and their brethren. But she is clearly harking back to the late 90s for another reason – Iran’s victory in the France ’98 World Cup against the United States, the greatest triumph in the history of Iranian football.”


ARGENTINA: Alika And Nueva Alianze – “Jengibre”
Current Points: 1

“Alika is a MC from Buenos Aires whose music blends hip hop and reggae, or as one local, beat reporter put it, she’s “an MC to hip hop fans and a DJ to the reggae masses.” There’s a confidence that comes through in this formation that will be necessary to pull Argentina up from third place after a disappointing showing in the first match. “Jengibre” comes from her 2014 album Mi Palabra Mi Alma. Alika’s career has been defined by both forward-thinking hip hop and populist activism. “Jengibre” is a perfect example of why the pop football hopes of Argentina are riding on her shoulders, and it’s a challenge she’s been waiting a generation for.”


BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Dijana Bliznac – “Zivot Nema Reprizu”

Current Points: 0

“After a humbling first outing in the Pop World Cup it seems prudent to begin swapping experience for the exuberance of youth. Dijana Bliznac has made a big impression in her first season in the turbo-folk top flight, here bringing a Balkan touch to the pioneering Romanian dance-pop formation. In truth though she’s just dancing through the pain, the title translating as ‘Life Has No Re-Run’. Clearly she’s well aware of the need to get points on the board, but also that disco sadness transcends language.”



F2: Which TWO Tracks Do You Pick? [ballot]

  • NIGERIA: Temi Dollface 32%
  • IRAN: Leila 26%
  • ARGENTINA: Alika And Nueva Alianze 24%
  • BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Dijana Bliznac 17%

Total Voters: 46

Poll closes: 17 Mar 2014 @ 13:00

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RESULTS: Uruguay’s back-to-indie-basics style didn’t do much for the commentary box but their workrate let them pull off a famous victory against underperforming or unlucky opposition. 3 points for them, and they’re in the Group D driving seat. Meanwhile, Costa Rica edged England to the 2 points, leaving the plucky Central American minnows with a real shot at qualification. England don’t need to panic yet, but it’s fair to say this is a setback. And sadly we say goodbye to Italy, who drew a blank again and cannot now qualify from the group. Their performance next game might make all the difference to other teams’ fortunes, though.