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Typhoon disrupts women´s World Cup

18 September 2007 11:25

HANGZHOU, China (AFP) - Matches at the women's World Cup have been postponed as a typhoon, bringing gale-force winds and driving rain, bears down on China.

FIFA and local organisers said crunch games between world number ones the United States and African champions Nigeria in Shanghai will go ahead later Tuesday, along with North Korea against Sweden in Chengdu city.

But the crucial Brazil versus Denmark match in Hangzhou has been pushed back from Wednesday to Thursday as Typhoon Wipha barrells towards China.

The Norway-Ghana showdown in Group C will also be moved to Thursday, with the match relocated from Shanghai to Hangzhou about three hours away.

The matches are crucial to deciding which teams qualify for the quarter-finals in the tournament played in five cities.

Moving the matches means Brazil - who are almost certain to qualify from Group D - and potential qualifiers Denmark will have one less rest day before they have to play a quarter-final game on the weekend.

Norway, currently second in their group, face the added disruption of relocating to Hangzhou. Ghana cannot qualify for the last eight.

Australia versus Canada on Wednesday in Chengdu and China against New Zealand in Tianjin city remain unchanged.

Shanghai and outlying areas are bracing for Wipha, with hundreds of thousands of people relocated to safer areas.

The typhoon, a storm packing winds of more than 180 kilometres (112 miles and hour) was expected to make landfall in east China around midnight Tuesday, after earlier hitting northern Taiwan.

Chinese meteorologists were particularly concerned that Wipha, which at 11:30 am (0330 GMT) was about 400 kilometres off shore, was building strength as it churned towards Shanghai.

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