USA striker Abby Wambach stole the show on Friday in Chengdu, slotting home a first-half penalty and hammering a stunning half-volley after the break to secure her side a 2-0 win over Group B rivals Sweden.
The lively Scandinavians asked most of the early questions, with Hanna Ljungberg nearly nodding home inside the first minute. However, despite being dominated for large parts of the opening period, the two-time champions USA drew first blood in the 34th minute after they were awarded a penalty when Sweden keeper Hedvig Lindahl misjudged a looping ball and left Stina Segerstrom with little choice but to take down Lori Chalupny, who was bearing down on goal.
Wambach made no mistake from the spot and she did not have to wait too long into the second half for her second. After expertly bringing down a lofted ball from Kristine Lilly in the 58th minute, Wambach, USA's top scorer at the FIFA Women's World Cup four years ago, unleashed a searing left-footed half-volley that was quite simply unstoppable.
Her third of the tournament took Wambach on to 78 goals in 96 international appearances, and it sent out a warning to USA's next opponents Nigeria, whom they meet on 18 September in Shanghai. The Swedes, with one point from two games, will be hoping to get things right when they travel to Tianjin for their last match against Korea DPR.
Player of the Match: Abby Wambach (USA)