WUHAN, China (AFP) - Brazil thrashed China 4-0 on Saturday to dent the home team's hopes of qualifying for the World Cup quarter-finals as Australia snatched a late draw against former champions Norway.
The South Americans were in a different class to the Chinese, whose confidence was sky high after an opening victory over Denmark on Wednesday.
But it all went horribly wrong for them in Wuhan, with a three goal burst in six minutes leaving China reeling.
Masterful Marta began the bombardment in the 42nd minute when she hustled down a loose ball to ankle-tap it past charging goalkeeper Han Wenxia.
Cristiane scored the second and third in the 47th and 48th minutes respectively before Marta made it four with 20 minutes to go, silencing a near-capacity crowd at the 52,000-seat Wuhan Sports Centre Stadium.
"The difference (between the two teams) was we made chances and scored," Brazilian head coach Jorge Barcelos said.
His Chinese counterpart Marika Domanski-Lyfors, a Swede, conceded Brazil was the better team.
"In the first half we could match Brazil, but in the second they showed they are better," she said.
"Brazil is is a very good team, one of the world's best, they showed it today."
Brazil now have six points to top Group C with just Denmark to play on Wednesday. The Danes beat New Zealand 2-0 earlier Saturday and have three points alongside China.
China must now beat New Zealand in Tianjin on Wednesday and hope Denmark get nothing out of the Brazil match.
Norway, who won the World Cup in 1995, looked to have the measure of Australia, confidently defending a fifth minute goal by Ragnhild Gulbrandsen before Lisa De Vanna pulled it level with just seven minutes left.
In the other Group C match, Canada hammered Ghana 4-0, eliminating the Africans from the tournament.
A resurgent Australia, who won their first World Cup match after 12 years of trying in their opener against Ghana, top the group with four points, ahead of Norway on goal difference.
"Considering the 90 minutes, we have to be pleased and we think we are in a very good situation before the last group game," said Norweigan coach Bjarne Berntsen.
Canada's Christine Sinclair scored twice as they ended Ghana's dream.
The first goal came with a superb header from Sinclair in the 16th minute.
After the break Canada tightened control and midfielder Sophie Schmidt widened their lead after 55 minutes.
Sinclair blasted home her second in the 62nd minute to become Canada's top World Cup scorer with five goals while Martina Franko got the fourth.
Even Pellerud, who was Norway's coach when they won the World Cup, said it looked like his team had beaten their big weakness -- running out of steam in the second half.
"It was a good fitness test and I think we did well today," he said, adding that he expected no favours from Australia on Wednesday in Chengdu.
"We have played several games against Australia before. They are always very even," he said.
Denmark beat a determined but outclassed New Zealand 2-0 to keep alive their slim hopes of advancing to the knockout stage.
Captain Katrine Pedersen found the back of the net first on a well struck free kick in the 61st minute and they rammed home their advantage five minutes when Cathrine Paaske Sorensen snapped a header home.
|UEFA Europa League Review: Lovren misses crucial spot kick as Liverpool crash out|
|Rodgers rues lack of Liverpool guile|
|Pochettino laments ´key´ Soldado miss|
|Everton 3 Young Boys 1 (7-2 agg): Tormentor-in-chief Lukaku on song again|
|Serie A games to start late in show of support for Parma|
|Mancini irked by mistakes despite win|
|Besiktas 1 Liverpool 0 (aet, 1-1 agg, 5-4 pens): Lovren misses decisive spot-kick|
|Chelsea agree record sponsorship deal|
|Fiorentina 2 Tottenham 0 (3-1 agg): Gomez and Salah eliminate Spurs|
|Inter 1 Celtic 0 (4-3 agg): Guarin stunner sees Mancini´s men through|
|Manchester United v Sunderland: Poyet eyeing another Old Trafford upset|
|Monk has no problem with Van Gaal|
|Borussia Dortmund v Schalke: Di Matteo buzzing ahead of derby debut|
|Poyet not prepared to risk returning duo against United|
|Sherwood seeks six wins for survival|
|Championship Preview: Neil relishing East Anglian derby|
|Newcastle United v Aston Villa: Carver praises rejuvenated visitors|
|Granada v Barcelona: Catalan giants aiming to put pressure back on Real|
|Burnley v Swansea City: Monk targets 40 points in record time|
|Stoke City v Hull City: Meyler focused on maintaining resurgence|
|West Brom v Southampton: Pulis warns of continued dogfight|
|Police identify Chelsea fans over racist chanting|
|Guardiola warns against complacency|
|West Ham v Crystal Palace: Allardyce wary of being caught on counter|
|Parma GM compares club to the Titanic|
|Alderweireld close to Southampton return|
|Dyche keen to move on from Barnes furore|
|Gutierrez in Newcastle squad for Villa clash|
|Union chief urges action over Serbia gun threat|
|Berahino doubtful for Southampton clash|
|German citizenship? Why not? - Ribery|
|League Two Preview: Bury hope winning environment rubs off, Burton host Newport|
|Klopp hoping to avoid any nasty surprises after bomb discovery|
|Blackett pens new United deal|
|Sakho to return to training|
|Flores quits Getafe for personal reasons|
|Busquets agrees new Barcelona deal|
|Martino ´could not be happy´ at Barcelona|
|Allardyce striving to develop more Nobles|
|Nani hopeful of United return|
|Unexploded bomb found near Dortmund stadium|
|Lippi leaves Evergrande for personal reasons|
|Chelsea issue cup final warning to fans|
|Ancelotti has no intention to re-sign Morata|
|Dunkin´ Donuts sorry after Liverpool fans slam alternate club crest|
|Noble signs new West Ham contract|
|Sterling hopeful of contract resolution|
|Ali renews UAE contract|
|Deportivo Saprissa 0 America 3: Visitors win with late blitz|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Pato´s streak continues|
|Chievo v Milan: Abbiati wants consistency from Inzaghi´s men|
|Valverde wants momentum ahead of ´crucial´ week|
|Deila challenges Van Dijk, Denayer|
|Serie A Preview: Roma in crucial clash with Juve, resurgent Inter at home|
|Prince Albert: I feel for Wenger|
|Jardim salutes Monaco´s game plan|
|Schmidt dreaming of UEFA Champions League quarter finals|
|Arsenal face ´extremely difficult´ challenge - Wenger|
|Simeone rues missed Atletico opportunities|
|Berbatov questions Arsenal mentality|
|Calhanoglu confident Leverkusen can progress|
|Nottingham Forest 2 Bournemouth 1: Freedman´s dream start continues|
|Gabi upbeat despite Leverkusen defeat|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Monaco host PSG, Lille look to arrest slump|
|Arsenal 1 Monaco 3: All to do for Wenger´s men after limp first-leg display|
|Bayer Leverkusen 1 Atletico Madrid 0: Calhanoglu gives hosts narrow advantage|
|AFC Champions League Review: Western Sydney off to winning start|
|Piszczek blow for Dortmund|
|Bayern Munich v Cologne: Lewandowski wants more of the same from champions|
|Totti: Feyenoord win can be turning point|
|Icardi can be one of world´s best - Mancini|
|Crowe could ride to Leeds´ rescue|
|Martinez to keep faith with Howard|
|O´Brien fined for dissent in UAE victory|
|La Liga Preview: Messi aims to bounce back from penalty miss, leaders Real host Villarreal|
|Eredivisie Preview: Last chance saloon for De Boer´s Ajax|
|Amnesty International: Qatar must improve labour conditions|
|Greek professional football suspended|
|Liverpool trio out of Besiktas clash|
|Bundesliga Preview: Dortmund set for Ruhr derby, Bayern host Cologne|
|Rami to miss Chievo clash|
|Genoa game will go ahead, says Manenti|
|Neymar involved in spat with City fan|
|Steaua receive stadium ban from UEFA|
|Giaccherini out for majority of season|
|Brighton fined £90,000 for breach of agent rules|
|Chelsea try to identify seven over alleged racist chanting|
|No compensation for clubs over 2022 World Cup|
|Suarez: City fans´ boos helped inspire double|
|Not the right time for Gutierrez yet, says Carver|
|Naismith happy to be in the wars|
|CONCACAF Champions League Review: Pachuca reel in Montreal|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Another Bou hat-trick sees Racing win|
|A-League Preview: Sydney wary of Wanderers ahead of derby|
|Qatar 2022 date change strengthens calls for FIFA overhaul|
|Pellegrini: Champions League tie not over|
|Bresciano calls time on Australia career|
|Barcelona defend Messi´s penalty miss|
|Football League Review: Derby stay two points clear, Middlesbrough bounce back|