Two of the four teams from each of the four World Cup groups will advance after round-robin play. The two teams from Group C expected to reach the quarterfinals met [in Columbus, Ohio] in the opening match, and Germany came away with an impressive 4-1 victory.
That lopsided margin could not have been predicted after Canada scored less than four minutes into the match on a perfectly placed header by Christine Sinclair off a long free kick. The 20-year old Sinclair plays collegiate soccer in the United States for the University of Portland.
Germany got the tying goal in the 39th minute on a penalty kick by captain Bettina Wiegmann. The Germans got the go-ahead goal two minutes after the intermission from Stefanie Gottschlich and Canada's Norwegian coach Even Pellerud said his team seemed to let down. "The timing on the goals was very unlucky for Canada, so the confidence went down and they were able to [take advantage of] our inexperienced back four [defenders]," he said.
The Germans kept the pressure on those defenders and added another goal in the 75th minute from Birgit Prinz and their fourth tally came in the 92nd minute in stoppage time to make the final margin, 4-1.
German coach Tina Theune-Meyer was surprised herself by the margin of victory. "I thought it would be more equal, this game. But in [the middle] it was very equal," she said. "I think in the second half when we were leading 2-1, and there were chances for Canada, it could have been very close game. But I think we were the better team. We played more through the midfield and had chances during the whole game."
In the second match of the World Cup Group C doubleheader Japan was dominant over Argentina, 6-0, with two goals from Homare Sawa [13th and 38th minutes] and three of them for the hat trick by Mio Otani [72nd, 75th and 80th minutes]. The other Japanese goal came from Emi Yamamoto in the 64th minute.