One world power reaffirmed its class, and one of the tournament's unknowns burst into prominence in a doubleheader of Women's World Cup routs tonight before 17,668 at Civic Stadium.
China coasted into the second round by overpowering Ghana, 7-0, in Group D, and Russia -- competing in its first world championship -- demolished Japan, 5-0, in Group C.
China and Russia would meet in the quarterfinals June 30 in San Jose, if -- as now looks likely -- China wins Group D and Russia finishes second in Group C. The Chinese were far more impressive than they were in their opening game last week and tore through helpless Ghana at will.
Should they square off, the match would present a compelling showdown between teams of different philosophies and styles, as well as a pair of inspirational captains.
Forward Sun Wen led the Chinese charge with three goals and one assist. She scored twice and created a third goal during a fierce first half.
With a record of 2-0, China is assured of a spot in the quarterfinals regardless of its result against Australia at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Saturday.
Russian midfielder Irina Grigorieva's slick passing sliced apart the Japan defense and she assisted on three goals. Oleg Letuchova scored twice, and single goals were netted by Larissa Savina, Natalia Karasseva, and Natalia Barbachina.
Russia (1-1) is in second place in Group C behind Norway, and plays Canada Saturday at the same site.
"I've known this team for a very long time and I know they can score, so I am not surprised about this result," Russian Coach Yuri Bystritsky said. "But I am still not satisfied because we missed many good chances. The American and the Chinese teams are the model and the future of the sport. They are doing everything right."
Sun scored two goals and created a third in the opening 21 minutes as China utterly destroyed the ebullient but disorganized Ghanians.
Ghana resorted to reckless fouling in a vain attempt to thwart the robust Chinese, and defender Regina Ansah was ejected for a harsh foul on Zhang Ouying in the 52nd minute.
Sun, who was hobbled by a leg injury and unable to go the full 90 minutes last Saturday in China's 2-1 win over Sweden, refused to be intimidated by Ghana's rough play and turned in a scintillating performance.
She tucked away a pass from Wang Liping in the 9th minute and converted a feed from Jin Yan in the 21st. In between, the rebound of a Sun shot fell to Jin, who drilled it home in the 16th minute.
Sun got her third goal after Zhang had blasted a shot off the crossbar in the 54th minute. Sun controlled the carom, shrugged off a defender, and lofted the ball high into the net.
In the opening game, Japan could not stop Grigorieva from conducting raid after raid into the attacking half of the field.
"The fatigue is building up but we managed to put up this performance and the will to win," Letuchova said. "We loved the crowd. They really energized us. We felt they were rooting for us the whole time."