Mar 14

PWC14: Group F Match 2 (Nigeria, Iran, Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina)

Pop World Cup 201413 comments • 1,824 views

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?

  • NIGERIA: Temi Dollface 61%
  • IRAN: Leila 50%
  • ARGENTINA: Alika And Nueva Alianze 46%
  • BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA: Dijana Bliznac 33%

Total Voters: 46

Poll closes: 17 Mar 2014 @ 13:00

Loading ... Loading ...

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.


  1. 1
    lonepilgrim on 10 Mar 2014 #

    Nigeria play with an assured efficiency following their first round win. Their front man is assertive and adaptable but the rest of the team seem a bit complacent at times.
    Iran frustrate opponents by playing in stealth mode, slowing down the pace and using a defensive wall as an attacking strategy.
    Argentina have really picked up the gauntlet thrown down in the first round and play with energy and passion. There’s a purposeful flow to their attack which make them convincing winners.
    Bosnia-Herzegovina’s tactics might have won them a game in the Eurovision league but they’re too anonymous for an intercontinental championship like this. Their defence will be picked apart by more ambitious opponents.

  2. 2
    lartsaegis on 10 Mar 2014 #

    off first impressions:

    1. Iran
    2. Nigeria
    3. Bosnia-Herzegovina
    4. Argentina

    But I think I’m going to wait before confiding who should pick up the deuce here. Iran is, as was aptly said before me, playing in stealth mode — and while its competitors are more forceful in their styles of play, Iran on this day has a state of grace that is unparalleled by anyone else on the pitch, which sort of tai-chis this game in their favor. And in about three minutes too — in a genre where excessive length can be a hazard (just ask me), it seems to me that its pared nature makes it even more elusive for the defenses of other teams.

    It’s funny to see how certain traits of pop music travel, hearing that Rihanna-ish coating around DollFace’s voice was weird. Her backing is competent enough to keep up with her own confidence in herself, but I feel like the deuce will come down to who has the more interesting support. Bosnia-Herze has a few more surprises (a woman whose Dancing On Her Own, Robyn style, in what appears to be an empty studio) and a needed exuberance while Argentina’s grit is somewhat appealing to me, although their style seems a little day-old baked bread for me on first listen. We’ll see.

  3. 3
    Chelovek na lune on 10 Mar 2014 #

    IRAN: delightful kaleidoscopic stuff, child’s play, but too insubstantial for this level of game? A great,great, introduction (I am sure I am not alone in hearing some Joy Division here….), but one that left the crowd waiting for the promise it displayed to burst into bloom….maybe in the next game that latent talent will go out and kick it some more. Mysterious and atmospheric, the pitch-bending gets close to the penalty spot, but doesn’t quite make the net.

    BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA: simple and moderately charming, a bit Eurovision, but with some contemporary Balkans stylings, and some capabilities that stop it getting bogged-down mid-field. It’s a marked step up from their first team outing, but not a classic performance yet.

    NIGERIA: such layering of so many classic elements, but is the magic element there? A bit too stop-start to be really World Cup Champion class. Baby it’s alright; for sure it is, but that’s not quite enough…. But But But It is kind of consistent, and the perspiration at least as much as the inspiration is what gets them through here.

    ARGENTINA: fluent and efficient, this is how you do it, effortlessly in charge, totally in control of the field, without ever being sufficiently challenged to need to break out into anything approaching aggression. Masters of their art.

  4. 4
    Kat but logged out innit on 11 Mar 2014 #

    Great match. So glad Bosnia have pulled their socks up and got stuck in to the game (not sure about their kit choices but we’ll overlook that for now). The others are all contending for my 2nd pick: Argentina are certainly capable of putting the ball into the back of the net but will it be enough?

  5. 5
    jeff w on 11 Mar 2014 #

    Effortless class from Nigeria. They’re not going to give up their crown easily. Probably my favourite track so far in the whole competition (and the standard has generally been high). Great video too.

    In other matches, I’ve backed unusual hip hop crossover efforts and I’m not about to change tack now when faced with a reggae-rap hybrid sung in Spanish. So second ticky to Argentina.

  6. 6
    Erithian on 12 Mar 2014 #

    Yes, there’s a cheesy Eurovision factor to the Bosnian song, but it’s endearing and there’s more to it than cheese. A throwback to the way the game used to be played, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Adventurous play from Argentina which I’m happy to get behind – tough to choose between this and Nigeria, but Temi will be OK with the Nigerian fanbase, so I’ll give Alika a slightly tactical vote.

    Loved the Iran entry last time around, but I fear this one will empty the stadium!

  7. 7
    Garry on 13 Mar 2014 #

    I love the Iranian’s play, so elegant and unexpected. Argentina also get a nod for toughness and presence. Bosnia just miss out but would have nicked a vote in other groups.

    Nigeria has many joys but suffers in comparison to their previous effort, plus those of Cameroon, Ghana, the US, and maybe even England’s last game. Again, would have gotten points in other groups but maybe time for a tactical rejig. I am sure they are not short of options. Given their pedigree I still expect them to breeze through to the knockout rounds.

  8. 8
    thefatgit on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Bit late to the comments since I voted, but it’s Iran and Nigeria all day long for me.

    Bosnia-Herzegovina are utterly charming but I found their striker was in need of some emergency physio.

    Argentina came the closest to upsetting Nigeria’s dominance of this group, but I had to go with a song which made me smile the most and Temi Dollface edged it, just.

    Iran took this round by the scruff of the neck and offered something that fizzed like yellow-cake uranium. Top marks!

  9. 9
    Matt DC on 13 Mar 2014 #

    Extremely brave play from Iran here but this is sublime stuff. They’re content to just pass the ball into the net but the opposition can’t get it off them.

    This is a slight misstep from Nigeria I fear, that loping beat doesn’t really do it for me, and they can do so much better. That said this track was a huge Singles Jukebox hit last year so they should do alright without my vote.

    Argentina is charming enough to pick up my second vote, which is a little harsh on Bosnia Herzegovina, as I like virtually everything about their song except the vocal.

  10. 10
    Tom on 17 Mar 2014 #

    I feel like I should apologise to all the players here – I didn’t do my usual promotional rounds (last week was hectic anyway, also BLAME OASIS) so this is severely undernourished vote-wise. Thanks for your efforts and congratulations to Nigeria, who saunter through to the next round. Commiserations to the Bosnians (and the Herzegovinans).

    A particular shame because it was a terrific match – something really different from Iran, and the most confident hip-hop entry we’ve seen so far from Argentina, a really lovely breathy Europop track* from Bosnia-Herzegovina… Temi Dollface might have even ended up last for me and she’d have deservedly won about half the games we’ve seen.

    *Europop is getting really punished this tournament, it’s a big tactical shift I think, a casualty of the African pop football ascendancy I guess.

  11. 11
    cis logged out on 19 Mar 2014 #

    wow! this is lovely news for Team Naija. We’re very proud of how our teams have played so far, and looking forward to seeing what the last match of the group stage has in store for us and for the fans.

  12. 12
    Matt DC on 21 Mar 2014 #

    I’m not sure that straight-up europop has ever been a particularly successful tactic in the PWC, my guess is that managers tend to default to it when they can’t find much else that they like (and that stands a chance of winning), while voters tend to respond to a bit of unpredictability and novelty.

    Given the state of global pop at the moment, there’s been surprisingly little bombastic stadium EDM, which is odd considering that virtually everywhere outside the Middle East and Africa must have at least a couple of these producers.

  13. 13
    Rezmat of Zermatt on 21 Mar 2014 #

    voters tend to respond to a bit of unpredictability and novelty

    *the headbanging alpine riverdance begins again*

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page