Surprises were few and far between in Group A, where favourites Germany and England left Japan and Argentina trailing in their wake on their way to a place in the quarter-finals. Fans enjoyed a feast of goals as the four group rivals combined to set a host of competition records.
The tale of the teams
Germany: The defending champions got off to a flying start in the quest to retain their world crown and have vowed to perform even better in the knockout stages. A crushing 11-0 opening-game victory against Argentina was followed up by a solid defensive display against England (0-0), before Birgit Prinz and Co sealed top spot with a clinical 2-0 win over Japan.
England: Inspired by the goals of forward Kelly Smith and the safe hands of keeper Rachel Brown, England were solid and consistent throughout. Barring a last-gasp equaliser shipped against the Japanese, coach Hope Powell's charges were efficiency personified, racking up a record 6-1 win over Argentina on the back of a stout rearguard action in the goalless draw with Germany.
Japan: Despite their early exit, the Nadeshiko left a positive impression through their efforts on Chinese soil. Endowed with a remarkable never-say-die attitude, last-gasp strikes against England and Argentina earned the Japanese four points, only for holders Germany to end their hopes in the final group game.
Argentina: Hit by the loss of key midfielder Mariela Coronel to injury on the eve of the tournament, the reigning South American champions failed to live up to expectations at China 2007. Three defeats in three games, the tournament's first red card and just one goal scored all reflect poorly on the Albicelestes' campaign, while the 18 goals conceded is a competition record.
The four goals that made Birgit Prinz the all-time top scorer in FIFA Women's World Cup history. Prinz has 13 goals to her name and is not finished yet.
The set-piece mastery of Aya Miyama, who grabbed two free-kick goals in her side's opener against England.
The closing remarks
"I just can't be satisfied (with my performance). On the contrary, I'm angry with myself. I didn't have a good match." Birgit Prinz, after the Germany-Japan game in which she became the competition's all-time top scorer.