EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Sun Wen scored twice to move into a tie for the overall goal-scoring lead in the Women's World Cup and China completed a perfect first round with a 3-1 victory over shorthanded Australia on Saturday.
Liu Ying also scored as China went undefeated in winning Group D, outscoring opponents 12-2 in three games.Australia (0-2-1) was at a disadvantage almost the entire game as forward Alicia Ferguson received a somewhat questionable red card from United States referee Sandra Hunt in the second minute for a late sliding tackle.
The elimination of Australia from the World Cup means that one of the eight quarterfinalists will not get an invitation to the 2000 Olympics. As the host for the Summer Games, Australia automatically gets a spot.
The other seven spots in the eight-team field will go to the four winning quarterfinalists and the three teams that lose by the lowest margin.
Sun, whose five goals ties Sissi of Brazil for the scoring lead in the tournament, gave China the lead in the 39th minute with a header right in front of goalkeeper Belinda Kitching, who was outstanding in defeat. Zhao Lihong set up the tally with a no-look crossing pass from the left corner that found Sun in front.
Six minutes into the second half, Sun increased China's lead to 2-0 with a blast from in close. Zhao also started that play with a cross from the left side that went a little too far. Pu Wei got the ball near the goalline and sent it back in front to Sun for a shot against a defenseless Kitching.
Australia ended a 253-minute shutout streak by China goalkeeper Gao Hong when Cheryl Salisbury scored in the 66th minute. She chested a pass down in the penalty area and powered a shot through Gao's fingertips with the ball just getting over the goalline.
Liu closed out the scoring in the 73rd minute with a hard shot that deflected past Kitching off an Australian defender.
Kitching was spectacular in the opening half stopping Jin Yan twice in the box on point blank shots.
A crowd of 29,401 fans attended the doubleheader at Giants Stadium. Russia beat Canada 4-1 in the opener.
The crowd was the largest crowd at this World Cup for a game not involving the United States.
However, it was a far cry from the 78,792 who came here last week to see the United States play Denmark in the World Cup opener. That was the largest crowd to see a women's sports event in the United States.