SHANGHAI (AFP) - The United States rolled into the World Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday to remain on track for a third title as Asia's top team North Korea lost but still scraped through for the first time ever.
The Americans beat African champions Nigeria 1-0 as Typhoon Wipha bore down on Shanghai, bringing heavy rain, with Lori Chalupny's first minute goal proving decisive.
It means the world number ones topped Group B with seven points and now play a rapidly-improving England in the quarter-final in Tianjin on Saturday.
The Koreans take on defending champions Germany in Wuhan, also on Saturday, despite being beaten 2-1 by Sweden in Tianjin.
They go through on goal difference after both teams ended their group matches with four points, meaning Sweden, runner-up in 2003, failed to make the last eight for the first time in the tournament's 16-year history.
The other quarter-final line-ups will be decided on Wednesday and Thursday.
Chalupny's goal after 55 seconds was enough to ensure not just qualification for the United States but a 50th successive undefeated match dating back to a defeat by Norway in 2004.
US coach Greg Ryan said that after emerging undefeated from the so-called "group of death" he was confident his team could win the World Cup.
"I do believe that this team has the ability to advance to the final and win this World Cup," said Ryan, adding that he expected a tough match against England.
"They have come a very long way and it isn't surprising that England are in the second round."
The pre-tournament favourites, who have won the trophy twice before, stunned Nigeria 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.
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.
North Korea warned before their match that they had yet to hit peak form but the desperate Swedes, who knew they needed to win by three clear goals, were the better side.
Charlotta Schelin gave them belief by opening the scoring in the fourth minute but a 22nd minute equalisier by Ri Un Suk crushed any hopes they had.
Sweden opened with an intensity missing from their earlier games, repeatedly attacking the North Korean goal and applying ferocious tackles and were rewarded when Schelin rose above the defence to head home a cross.
But North Korea hit back, with Ri beating her defender to launch a bullet from her right foot that curled into the far corner of the net, past diving goalkeeper Hedvig Lindahl.
Despite the blow, the Swedes came out firing in the second half and Schelin pounced on a through ball in the 54th minute to charge through two defenders and fire past advancing goalkeeper Jon Myong Hui.
Both sides continued to mount attacks, but frustration grew in the Swedish camp as they were unable to find a way through the Korean tiring defence.
|Conte would welcome Italy opportunity|
|Lahm calls for Bayern focus|
|Bale: I am under less pressure at Real|
|Ranieri laments missed opportunities|
|Moyes confirms Fellaini back scan plan|
|Bayern Munich will respect Raja Casablanca, says Guardiola|
|Yeboah signs for Monchengladbach|
|Proud Benitez demands focus|
|Serie A Preview: Atalanta v Juventus|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Porto, Benfica victorious|
|Football League Wrap: Tranmere defeated, Chesterfield move top of League Two|
|Serie A Preview: Inter v Milan|
|Bundesliga: Frankfurt 1 Augsburg 1|
|Ligue 1: Monaco 1 Valenciennes 2|
|La Liga: Elche 0 Malaga 1|
|Eredivisie: RKC Waalwijk 1 Twente 1|
|La Liga Preview: Getafe v Barcelona|
|Ligue 1 Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Lille|
|UAE Pro League Wrap: Al Ahli extend lead, Al Shaab earn rare win|
|Lambert seeks more Villa away success|
|Sunderland will have ´no excuses´ for Norwich failure, says Poyet|
|Hughton hails Poyet impact|
|Pardew anticipating difficult Palace clash|
|UEFA provisionally ban three clubs from European competition|
|La Liga Preview: Valencia v Real Madrid|
|Valdes to keep new club quiet|
|Allardyce urges West Ham to expose United frailties|
|Bruce bemoans Brady injury|
|Laudrup rules out Tottenham switch|
|Premier League Preview: Swansea City v Everton|
|Benitez is ´a lucky charm´, says De Laurentiis|
|Stoke wait on Shawcross fitness|
|Koscielny to miss out on Chelsea clash|
|Liverpool owner hails Suarez deal as sign of club´s progress|
|Moyes reveals Nani setback|
|Schweinsteiger to return in January|
|Thohir not worried ahead of derby|
|Mourinho eyes defensive improvements|
|Pellegrini optimistic on Zabaleta return|
|Gourcuff reveals contract refusal|
|Suarez pens new long-term Liverpool deal|
|Klopp predicts tough Hertha battle|
|Dempsey has medical ahead of Fulham return|
|Bruce sympathetic to Mackay situation|
|A-League: Brisbane Roar 0 Newcastle Jets 2|
|Celtic´s Lustig set to miss four months|
|Messi blasts Barca official|
|Redknapp slams Villas-Boas´ signings|
|Atalanta out to continue home record|
|Phillips poised for January Palace exit|
|Dembele: Spurs ´positive´ about Sherwood appointment|
|Benitez predicts busy January at Napoli|
|Kerslake expects Mackay to be in charge for Liverpool game|
|Lowe given Glory role|
|Baines set for Everton return|
|Pedro keen on emulating Iniesta|
|Pochettino not interested in January purchases|
|Poyet calls for mid-season break|
|Iajour up for Bayern test|
|Martinez seeking ´short-term solutions´ in transfer window|
|Kompany urges City to remain focused|
|Rodgers glad he avoided Tottenham|
|Del Piero in line to take on Juventus in Australia|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Valencia scrape through, Bilbao thrash Celta|
|Primeira Liga: Maritimo 2 Braga 2|
|Galliani to stay at Milan|
|Klopp plays down Club World Cup|
|Schalke coach Keller not fearing the sack|
|Wilshere loses appeal against two-match ban|
|Zaha on Pardew´s radar|
|Milan will be my final club, says Abbiati|
|Anigo to remain at Marseille helm for time being|
|Premier League Preview: West Brom v Hull City|
|No Bankia involvement in Bale deal, says Perez|
|Galliani wants stronger Milan youth system|
|Rafinha extends Bayern contract|
|Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Aston Villa|
|Poyet: No excuse not to perform|
|Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup|
|Gabbidon praises Palace strike pair|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester United v West Ham|
|Hughton calls for Norwich City to show character|
|Premier League Preview: Fulham v Manchester City|
|Samaras attracting Lazio interest|
|Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Cardiff City|
|Rodgers backs Mackay at Cardiff|
|Foster back fit and raring for West Brom recall|
|De Boer agent denies Tottenham contact|
|Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United|
|Hungary appoint Pinter as new coach|
|Iniesta signs new Barca contract|
|Rodgers coy over Suarez talks|
|Jagielka hopes for fresh faces at Everton to help top-four push|
|A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0|
|Spain end top of FIFA rankings for sixth year running|
|Allardyce disappointed to draw Manchester City|
|Pascoe hails ´unbelievable´ Suarez|
|Vorm knee surgery brought forward|
|Blanc hails Cavani brace|
|Michu wants Aspas to join Swansea City|
|Hoeness plays down Bayern treble suggestions|
|Dzeko confident he can fill Aguero void|
|Moyes: No loan offers for Zaha|
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|