FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999

FIFA Women's World Cup USA 1999

FIFA Women's World Cup 1999™

Front-runners advance at Women's World Cup

China, Russia, Norway, Sweden and Brazil are the first five known quarter-finalists at the FIFA Women's World Cup - but nobody yet has a firm ticket booked for the Sydney Olympics.

The elimination of Australia, beaten 1-3 by China in Chicago, means that while the Aussies qualify for the Games by virtue of their role of hosts, the other seven Olympic teams will be decided by the results of the four quarter-finals next Wednesday and Thursday.

The four winning teams in midweek will also win their berth in Sydney, while the best three losers (as determined primarily by goal difference) will join them. The heaviest loser misses out.

In Saturday's action, the Aussies fought valliantly against a resolute China side despite playing almost the entire game with only ten players. Russia proved too strong for the gutsy Canadians, Sweden made hard work of dismissing Ghana, and World Champions Norway provided another solid performance in beating Japan 4-0.

The three other quarter-finalists will be decided Sunday, with the US (who take on North Korea in Boston) almost certain to make the last eight. Also in contention are the North Koreans themselves, Nigeria (facing the endangered Denmark), Germany (against the already qualified Brazilians) and Italy (opposing the eliminated Mexico).