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.
|Conte laments Italy World Cup failure|
|Amiens 1 Monaco 1: Jovetic rescues point but champions give PSG boost|
|Stuttgart 2 Borussia Dortmund 1: Bosz pressure builds after more Burki mishaps|
|Sunderland target Coleman steps down as Wales manager|
|Conte´s wife tells him to grow a beard – Conte grows a beard|
|Simeone rules out Everton job, promising ´a couple of years at least´ at Atletico|
|Pique to miss Barcelona´s Leganes trip over personal matter|
|UEFA closes Roma ´monkey chanting´ case|
|Don´t worry about Messi renewal, Valverde tells Barcelona fans|
|´Griezmann? We´ll see´ – Valverde won´t rule out Barcelona pursuit of Atletico star|
|Unsworth surprised to see Allardyce snub Everton|
|Mourinho has ´immense respect´ for Benitez|
|Howe backs Defoe to make World Cup squad|
|Everton speculation out of my control - Silva focusing on Hornets|
|Conte concerned by Manchester City´s breakaway lead|
|Man City results ´perfect´, but Guardiola demands improvement|
|David Luiz back in Chelsea squad, Conte confirms|
|Recovered Klopp offers Liverpool fitness update|
|Guardiola confident Aguero in ´perfect´ condition despite hospital trip|
|Ibrahimovic, Pogba and Rojo back for Manchester United|
|Heynckes compiling list of potential successors|
|Modric & Carvajal fit for Madrid derby|
|Bayern begin talks over Wagner deal|
|Pulis angered as Chadli sidelined for ´foreseeable future´|
|Neymar to join Ronaldo at Real Madrid? Zidane speaks out on PSG star|
|Guardiola & Sane complete Man City award double|
|Brave Chapecoense secure top-flight status|
|Tottenham have overtaken Arsenal as north London´s best - Sherwood|
|Brisbane Roar 3 Melbourne City 1: Papadopoulos at the double as hosts finally win|
|Seaman: Wenger must start Lacazette against Tottenham|
|I am more than just a goal machine - Ronaldo ignores Real Madrid criticism|
|Skriniar not interested in Barcelona speculation|
|France need Benzema, says Aulas|
|Van Dijk could leave Southampton in January|
|Sanchez snubbed Barcelona switch - Osorio|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Simeone and Zidane face dangerous, defining Derbi|
|Aubameyang baffled by Dortmund suspension|
|Pochettino lauds Wenger longevity as he eyes 20 years at Spurs|
|Ronaldo: Real Madrid don´t fear PSG|
|Zenit´s Mancini not thinking about Italy job|
|Wenger advises Pochettino to fight the ´fear´ of winning trophies|
|Ronaldo: I want seven Ballons d´Or... and seven children!|
|Howedes ready for long-awaited Juventus debut|
|Bayern´s Wagner interest confirmed by Nagelsmann|
|Dyche ´amazed´ at persistent Everton talk|
|Manchester United post record first-quarter revenues|
|Hodgson confident Benteke will be fit for Everton clash, unsure over Loftus-Cheek|
|Klopp returns to Liverpool training after hospital visit|
|Moreno urges Coutinho to reject Barcelona switch|
|Hamsik refuses to be distracted by Maradona record|
|CAS rejects Adrien Silva´s appeal|
|Aubameyang dropped by Dortmund for ´disciplinary reasons´|
|Aguero declares himself fit to face Leicester City|
|If Griezmann isn´t committed, he should leave – Koke|
|Knee surgery to sideline PSG´s Motta|
|Kane the same as Lewandowski, Eboue proclaims|
|Let Neymar focus on football - Emery|
|Spurs quartet return but Alderweireld set for longer absence|
|Ibrahimovic eyes different role on Manchester United return|
|Transfer target Messi was beyond Manchester City, says Robinho|
|´Ultimate defender´ Zouma one of Premier League´s best, claims Shawcross|
|Cantona baffled by Neymar´s PSG move|
|Loftus-Cheek must return to Chelsea, says Willian|
|Central Coast Mariners 1 Adelaide United 2: Kitto snatches dramatic win|
|Cazorla´s fitness woes the worst injury Wenger has known|
|Wenger trusts Lacazette completely|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Demolition derbies, Raul´s revenge and other memorable capital clashe|
|Mourinho: Ibrahimovic will return in 2017|
|Spain and England at risk as World Cup draw pots confirmed|
|Atletico Madrid v Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo, King of El Derbi|
|Gareca: World Cup spot is for the Peruvian people|
|World Cup: The 32 qualified teams|
|Peru 2 New Zealand 0 (2-0 agg): South Americans qualify for World Cup after 36-year wait|
|Ronaldo congratulates Corinthians on seventh Brazilian title|
|Van Dijk focused ahead of Liverpool clash – Pellegrino|
|Ravanelli: I´d bend over backwards to bring back Conte|