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Women's World Cup Matches Resume in China


Clouds and wind remain in eastern China from the remnants of typhoon Wipha. But the rain has stopped and play is resuming at the 16-nation Women's World Cup football (soccer) tournament. VOA's Jim Stevenson has this update.

First round action concludes Thursday, in Chengdu, Hangzhou and Tianjin. Group-C and Group-D will each send two teams to the single-elimination quarterfinal round.

Australia, Norway and Canada all have a chance to advance from a very tight Group-C, from which Ghana has been eliminated. Brazil appears to be the runaway leader from Group-D while Denmark, host China and even winless New Zealand have the opportunity to continue.

U.S. coach Greg Ryan is impressed by the teams in this tournament. He says the parity of overall skills will make for an exciting quarterfinal round.

"Everybody in our group was good. And I think in some of the other groups you have seen some of matches that have been very lopsided. I think, overall, there is great parity. The top teams are no longer the top teams by miles. It is going to be a great match between the next eight teams. And, some very good teams are going home," Ryan said.

Among those teams going home is Sweden, the 2003 runner-up. This tournament marks the first time the Swedes have failed to reach the quarterfinals at a World Cup.

The quarterfinal round opens Saturday with the United States facing England in Tianjin, while defending champion Germany plays North Korea in Wuhan. The other two quarterfinals are Sunday. The final is September 30 in Shanghai.

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