China set up all-Asia clash
© AFP

An assured 2-0 victory over Argentina gave the hosts top spot in Group E and set up an all-Asia quarter-final with Japan in the process.

The opening 45 minutes saw little in the way of clear-cut chances, but China striker Han Duan was guilty of missing a hat trick of opportunities. The first came in the third minute when Pu Wei intercepted the ball, ran down the right flank and put in a cross, which the striker aimed straight at the keeper.

Arguably the easiest of the three came when, after being supplied by Pu down the right again, the 25-year-old hit her shot straight into the body of a grateful Vanina Correa from 12 yards.

China, enjoying the support of a capacity crowd in Qinhuangdao, were giving Argentina's left-sided players a torrid time, and the Pu-Han combination almost bore fruit again when the midfielder sent in another good ball which the striker contrived to steer wide of the target.

Following a nervy opening half-hour, the Argentinians began to get into their stride and create some half-chances. Their finest opportunity, however, came in the 42nd minute when Ludmila Manicler fired straight at the keeper when presented with a one-on-one opportunity.

The scare appeared to wake the hosts up and seconds later, another counter-attack down the right almost bore fruit when Pu found Xu Yuan inside the box, but the striker could only fire wide.

It took China just seven minutes after the interval to open the scoring. A free kick floated into the box caused all kinds of problems for Correa, who collided with Li Jie, presenting Han with a glorious opportunity. She got a touch to the ball, which rebounded off an Argentina defender and on to Maria Quinones, who couldn't help but steer the ball into the net.

Shang Ruihua's side had a goal ruled out for offside, and Han went close on two more occasions, but there was still time for another goal in the final minute when Xu Yuan sent in a wonderful cross for Gu Yasha to side-foot home.