Rita Nwadike scored with 11 minutes to play and Nigeria further bolstered its credibility as a possible quarterfinalist out of Group A in the Women's World Cup with a 2-1 victory over North Korea tonight before 17,102 at the Rose Bowl.

Nwadike redirected a cross from Mercy Akide past goalkeeper Kye Yong Sun.

Nigeria's next game will be against the United States Thursday in Chicago.

Akide opened the scoring in the 50th minute, with her shot from the right side parallel to the goal line caroming off Kye's hands into the net.

North Korea's Jo Song Ok tied the score with 16 minutes to play off Jo Jong Ran's cross.

When the final whistle blew, Nigeria's reserves and coaching staff sprinted off the bench to congratulate the players.

Initially considered one of the tournament's mystery teams because it rarely plays outside Africa, Nigeria drew attention with a 4-3 victory over China in a June 12 exhibition in Culver City, Calif.

China, the top seed in Group D, has beaten the United States twice this year.

GERMANY 1, ITALY 1: In a Group B match, top-seeded Germany salvaged one point on Bettina Wiegmann's 61st-minute penalty kick.

"Obviously we went into this match wanting to win, but I can live with one point from this match," German Coach Tina Theune-Meyer said through an interpreter.

Germany, the runner-up behind Norway in the 1995 Women's World Cup after a third-place finish in the inaugural 1991 tournament, was forced to rally after Italy's Patrizia Panico opened the scoring in the 36th minute.

Panico headed captain Antonella Carta's cross on a bounce past goalkeeper Silke Rottenberg, just inside the right goal post from six yards out.

The goal came after Italy was awarded a free kick when German captain Doris Fitschen was called for fouling Panico just to the left of the penalty area. Anna Duo opened the scoring sequence by tapping the free kick to Carta.

The Germans were awarded their equalizing penalty kick after defender Roberta Stefanelli fouled Birgit Prinz in the penalty area. Italian goalkeeper Giorgia Brenzan guessed correctly, diving right, but Wiegmann's shot into the lower right corner still eluded Brenzan.

Both teams took five shots after the second goal, but Rottenberg made three saves and Brenzan two to preserve the tie.

Germany almost allowed an own goal in the 69th minute. With Rottenberg coming off her line to try to clear Panico's cross, the ball deflected off defender Kerstin Stegemann toward the unguarded net, but rolled just wide.

Germany, which will finish Group B play against Brazil June 27 at Jack Kent Cooke Stadium, failed to take full advantage of its offensive opportunities, taking 23 shots to Italy's 10 and leading 14-6 in shots on goal.

"I was unhappy with our finishing," Theune-Meyer said.

"We got the ball in good positions, but weren't putting it away."

The best example of that came early in the second half. Maren Meinert's shot hit the crossbar in the 47th minute. Seven minutes later, Inka Grings was stopped by Brenzan, got the rebound, but then had her shot into the unguarded net blocked by defender Luisa Marchio.

Both teams exhibited styles similar to the male counterparts. The attack-oriented Germans took nine first-half shots, five on goal, with Brenzan making five saves.

Meanwhile, the Italians, content to counterattack, took three, one on goal.

"In the first half, we gave them too much space," Theune-Meyer said. "In the second half, we got into the game more.

"We won more balls, moved forward more positively, so at the end of the day, one point is not unreasonable."

Said Italian Coach Carlo Facchin: "In the first half, we managed to offset them rather well. When we had the ball, we had full freedom to express our capacities. In the second half, we demonstrated certain limits in our game.

"We appeared to have some doubts, because we didn't express ourselves with the same amount of creativity in the first half and we succumbed to the pressure of the other team."