World Cup Of Music: Semi-Finals … Columbia vs Ghana and Japan vs Belgium

We’ve now moved into the final four of the World Cup Of Music and as you’d expect from the countries with the best music in the world we’ve got some amazing tunes for you. Spellbinding stuff in fact … and a reminder that your votes decide who goes through. Remember you can vote by dropping Zaph a line via email on or tweet him on @worldcupofmusic with your scores! And if it’s a draw go into penalties by rolling a dice!

So, down to the final four. The two favourites, England and USA, went out a long time ago leaving the semi-finals to be contested by Columbia vs Ghana and Japan vs Belgium. The music’s all in the podcast below so get listening and send your results into Zaph Mann.

First Semi-Final

In the first semi final Pernett kicked off for Columbia with Rumba Bacana (Nickodemus Mix). Ghana countered with the incredible Wanlov the Kubolor making for one of the best matches of the tournament so far. Ghana have been keeping this man up their sleeve for some time and cheekily he brings the goods with a football themed tune titled Goal! A breathtaking first half – no one could have expected a match this close!

Second half of the first semi-final and this time Ghana kick off with a known performer, King Ayisoba and Wicked Leaders, a strong move countered by favourites Columbia with Meridian Brothers and their tune Somos Los Residentes. An incredible match with both teams drafting in songs late in the day – gambles that appear to have paid off.

Second Semi-Final

Second semi-final saw Japan kicking off with the obscure Atomic Orchestra and A Fluffing Distortion Plane, a startling and somewhat impertinent move some might say – whereas others may just consider it a bold gamble. Whatever it is, you decide, of course, but not until you check out Belgium’s response from SICK STATE, a left wing attack and as direct a riposte to what Atomic Orchestra opened with as you can find. Their tune? Maggots.

The second match starts with more power play but this time from Belgium’s Solar Skeletons and their tune Avarus Et Produces which Japan respond to with hanali and Static Method.

Incredible play, indeed – what astonishingly strong semi-finals!

Those matches broken down:

First Semi-final: Columbia vs Ghana bw Ghana vs Columbia:

Pernett (Rumba Bacana (Nickodemus Mix)) vs Wanlov the Kubolor (Goal)

King Ayisoba’s (Wicked Leaders) vs Meridian Brothers (Somos Los Residentes)

Second Semi-final: Japan vs Belgium bw Belgium vs Japan:

Atomic Orchestra (A Fluffing Distortion Plane) vs SICK STATE (Maggots)

Solar Skeletons (Avarus Et Produces) vs hanali (Static Method).


Now, check out the music…

Meanwhile in the other world cup, here’s how the first semi-final, Brazil vs Germany, unfolded:

Brazil took on Germany in the first semifinal. As some were expecting, the worst Brazil side in history were made to look like little boys lost as Germany were rampant, fast-of-movement, quick-of-thought, and punishing in their finishing.

Before the half-hour mark indeed they lead by five goals to nil, as those watching in the stadium and on television realized they were witnessing one of those ‘where were you when….?’ experiences.

Muller scored from a corner as the Germans cleverly blocked off Brazil defender David Luiz on 11 minutes, Miroslav Klose guided home a record-breaking 16th World Cup goal, Kroos then added two in three minutes as the Germans showed no mercy, before man of the match Khedira suitably got in on the act after a quick-witted one-two in the box with Ozil.

The Brazilians were unsurprisingly boo’d off at half-time.

In the second period Brazil had a few more efforts on goal than they managed in the first but these efforts were either depressingly tame, or saved well by the world’s number one goalkeeper, Manuel Neuer.

Substitute Andre Schurrle even had time to score the last two for Germany– the second an especially lovely control and finish from a semi-narrow angle.

At the very end Oscar grabbed a consolation, shooting beyond Neuer to give the suffering Brazil fans in the stadium– those that remained– something to cheer.

As much as Brazil were bad– as much as they were finally found out– Germany won this game more than it was awarded to them, and won it scarily well. Who is going to beat them now?

And the second semi-final, Argentina and Holland:

After the previous night’s historical result it was asking a lot for Argentina and Holland (repeat of the 1978 final that the South Americans won) to give us even half the excitement. It proved to be even more impossible than that as the two sides played out a generally dull 120 minutes of goalless football.

It was a poor semifinal that– in comparison with the Germany vs Brazil game that took place twenty-four hours earlier– had all those that watched it ready to forget in a hurry.

The first period was a real stalemate. Johnny Giles on RTE at half-time called it “no-way-out football”. Defensive midfielders, picking up the ball from the centre-backs, had no outlet. Even Messi and Robben struggled to gain a foothold.

The second period was no better, saw Higuain volley into the side-netting after a nice cross from Perez, while up the other Arjen Robben broke into the Argentina box near the end of 90-minutes only to see his shot blocked by man of the match Javier Mascherano.
In extra-time an oddly quiet Lionel Messi found a moment, spinning away and crossing for Rodriguez to shoot straight into the arms of the Dutch ‘keeper Cillessen.

The game was littered with awful set pieces– especially guilty was Sneijder–, while both defences were generally on top of their game, making it difficult for any sign of a clear opportunity to show itself.

And so to penalties. AT LAST! Argentina hit the stronger pens, scoring all their four, whilst the unfortunate Dutch had two saved by Romero. And so it’s a Germany vs Argentina final, with the European’s sure to be favourites.<


Right – now it’s over to you! Get your votes sent over to our man Zaph Mann. A reminder that you can vote by dropping Zaph a line via email on or tweet him on @worldcupofmusic with your picks. We want your votes in terms of scores please (2 -1, 3 – 3, 7 – 12 etc.)

For more details and to keep up to date on the podcasts, released on a day by day basis, head over to or follow @worldcupofmusic on twitter. Alternatively just point your browser towards this url: where you’ll find all the podcasts.

All words by Guy Manchester, Zaph Mann of the In Memory Of John Peel show and Phillip Neeson of You can find the post where we introduce the concept of the World Cup of Music here

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Guy is a former full time member of the Louder Than War editorial team, who's since moved on to pastures new. Music's been a large part of his life since he first stumbled across Peel on his tranny as a fifteen year old. His whole approach to music was learnt from Peel in fact, which includes having as inclusive a taste in music as possible. Guy devotes most of his time looking for new music & although he's been known to say "the only good music is new music" he pretty much accepts this is bollocks. Favourite band The Minutemen.


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