SHANGHAI (AFP) - A goal after just 55 seconds by Lili Chalupny saw the United States scrape past Nigeria 1-0 to reach the quarter-finals of the women's World Cup here on Tuesday.
As Typhoon Wipha bore down on Shanghai bringing heavy rain to the Hongkou Stadium, the world number ones progressed from Group B as the top team to meet England, second in Group A, in Tianjin on Saturday for their quarter-final tie.
It was the 50th undefeated match in a row for the US team dating back to a defeat by Norway in 2004, according to world governing body FIFA.
The pre-tournament favourites, who have won the trophy twice before, took an early lead when striker Abby Wambach back-headed a throw-in into the path of Chalupny, who chested the ball down and fired on goal.
Nigeria's goalkeeper Precious Dede was well-positioned to collect the shot but the ball took a wicked deflection from a defender and ended up in the back of the net.
It was the second victory for the United States in Group B after their 2-0 win against Sweden which followed a 2-2 draw in their opening game against North Korea.
The Koreans ended up second in the group after losing their match 2-1 to Sweden in Tuesday's other group game. They go on to play world champions Germany in another quarter-final in Wuhan on Saturday.
The United States struggled to dominate the skilful African champions who looked threatening throughout the match.
However, in the first half, the US had most of the action in front of goal and it seemed just a matter of time before the attacking trio of Chalupny, veteran Kristine Lilly, and the ever-dangerous Wambach would increase the lead.
But the water-logged pitch made the going heavy for both teams and chances were few and far between.
The best in the first half fell to Wambach, who sent a bullet header screeming towards the top of the net until Dede managed to tip it over the bar in the 44th minute.
Nigeria, who drew with Sweden 1-1 and lost to North Korea 2-0, are eliminated from the competition, paying a heavy price for poor finishing.
Their best effort was a header from 20-year-old Rita Chikwelu with less than 10 minutes to run which saw US 'keeper Hope Solo scrambling desperately to keep it out
|Manchester City look unstoppable under Guardiola - Walker|
|Hitzfeld urges Bayern to stick with Ancelotti|
|Las Palmas coach Manolo Marquez resigns after six LaLiga matches|
|Fabregas: No pure striker better than Costa|
|Ancelotti will be measured on Champions League results, Ballack claims|
|Wenger bemoans ´cruel´ Arsenal schedule|
|Tianjin derby under investigation for possible match-fixing|
|Alonso announces move into management|
|Klopp considers starting ´artists´ against Spartak|
|Lacazette not just a goalscorer – Wenger|
|Aguero only world-class Premier League striker – Henry|
|Kane: I use Ronaldo and Messi as motivation|
|Rodriguez penalty call correct for Wenger|
|Pulis rounds on ´cheating´ Sanchez amid Rodriguez penalty row|
|Ramsey: Arsenal must make Emirates a fortress|
|Arsenal 2 West Brom 0: Lacazette double enough for Gunners as Barry breaks Premier League record|
|No Real Madrid doubts over Cristiano Ronaldo, insists Carvajal|
|Nineteen years and counting – Barry´s record-breaking Premier League career in Opta numbers|
|Barry to break Giggs´ Premier League appearance record|
|Zidane has faith in Real Madrid style|
|Suso pens AC Milan extension until 2022|
|Real Madrid injuries will make no difference, says Bosz|
|A waste of time - Klopp baffled by media questions ahead of Champions League tie|
|Football Association backs Glenn over Sampson sacking|
|Juventus to appeal against fine, Agnelli ban issued by FIGC|
|Aguero and Jesus partnership delights Guardiola|
|Deulofeu, Semedo return for Barcelona but Alcacer dropped for Sporting CP clash|
|Guardiola uneasy over lofty Manchester City comparisons|
|FIFA ´applying common sense´ with expected poppy ban U-turn|
|Walker: It was a nightmare facing Aguero|
|Promes a doubt for Spartak´s Liverpool clash|
|Dortmund meet Madrid again as Besiktas look to end drought - Champions League in Opta numbers|
|Villarreal promote coach Calleja to first-team duties|
|Napoli striker Milik set for long lay-off after knee surgery|
|Mourinho avoids FA punishment after being sent off at Southampton|
|Draxler predicts a ´spectacle´ when PSG face Bayern|
|Tevez challenged to prove his worth by Shanghai Shenhua|
|Bielsa has backing of Lille owner despite poor run|
|Shakhtar will attack Man City, predicts Fernandinho|
|Burki hopes Dortmund crowd can be key against Madrid|
|Kroos returns for Madrid´s trip to Dortmund|
|Chelsea boss Conte: For sure, I will return to Italy|
|Neymar and Mbappe need time to settle at PSG, says Ancelotti|
|Mathieu hits out at Barcelona treatment|
|Villarreal sack Escriba after Getafe humbling|
|Lukaku and Raiola repeat calls for offensive chant to stop|
|De Bruyne keen on new Manchester City deal|
|Marcelino laughs off injury after hurting hamstring celebrating|
|Milan shouldn´t be losing to weaker teams – Fassone slams Montella´s men|
|MLS Review: Sporting KC, Portland keep pressure on|
|Wenger unwilling to sacrifice any potential trophy|
|Kane worth more than £100m – Noble|
|Klopp: I could write a book on defending|
|Ederson wishes Mane well after recovering from horror tackle|
|Morata shining as Chelsea´s leading man after Juve, Madrid frustration|
|Guardiola balks at Chelsea or United fearing in-form Manchester City|
|CAF Champions League Review: Etoile Sahel see off Al Ahli Tripoli to reach semi-finals|
|Brighton winner was a foul, claims frustrated Benitez|
|Spalletti: Unbeaten Inter must go beyond their limits|
|Brighton and Hove Albion 1 Newcastle United 0: Hemed the hero in second home win|
|Better late than never - Matuidi delighted with start to life at Juventus|
|Inter 1 Genoa 0: Late D´Ambrosio header snatches victory for Spalletti´s side|
|Delph a willing deputy for injured City left-back Mendy|
|Howedes ruled out for four weeks|
|Milan lacked determination and quality in Samp defeat - Montella|
|Sheffield Wednesday 2 Sheffield United 4: Clarke at the double in derby win|
|Uruguayan Primera Division fixtures cancelled amid referee strike|
|Mendy hoping to follow successful City season with World Cup triumph|
|Sampdoria 2 AC Milan 0: Duvan Zapata claims family bragging rights|
|Dybala backs dropped Higuain to rediscover clinical touch|
|21st century boy - Lyon youngster Geubbels makes Ligue 1 history|
|Napoli fear more knee surgery for Milik|
|Spalletti promises reaction from smarting Inter|
|Montella backs ´fired up´ AC Milan to ´raise the bar´|
|Meunier: PSG don´t have Neymar dependency|
|Pogba could have surgery on hamstring injury – surgeon|
|MLS Review: Shield-chasing Toronto beaten again, Union extinguish Fire|
|Allegri: Higuain needs to rediscover form after Juve axing|
|Juventus great Nedved comes out of retirement|
|I´ll be back! Schwarzenegger visits Barcelona|
|Are you on loan from Man City? Messi quizzes Girona´s Maffeo|
|CAF Champions League Review: Holders Sundowns out on penalties|
|Alba lauds Valverde´s impact at in-form Barcelona|
|Pjanic: Things will only get better for Juventus|
|Bosz points to collective effort despite Aubameyang & Philipp heroics|