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Football Action Resumes at Women's World Cup 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 tournament. VOA's Jim Stevenson has this update.

First-round action concluded in Chengdu, Hangzhou, and Tianjin. Group C and Group D each sent two teams to the single-elimination quarterfinal round.

Norway trounced Ghana, 7-2, in Hangzhou to finish as the top team from Group C. Australia also advances after playing Canada to a 2-2 draw in Chengdu.

Brazil became the only team to win all three of its first round games with a 1-0 victory over Denmark in Hangzhou. The other team to advance from Group D is host China, which scored an impressive 2-0 win over New Zealand in Tianjin.

The high level of play has been noticed by U.S. coach Greg Ryan. He says the parity of overall skills will make for an exciting quarterfinal round.

"Everybody in our group was good," he said. "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."

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 Tianjin, while defending champion Germany plays North Korea in Wuhan. The other two quarterfinals are on Sunday, and feature Brazil against Australia, while Norway plays China. The final is September 30 in Shanghai.