CHENGDU, China -- The United States marched towards the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup as Abby Wambach scored both goals in the 2-0 victory over Sweden.
Abby Wambach celebrates after scoring in the United States' victory over Sweden.
The top-ranked Americans took the lead in the 34th minute when Wambach slotted home from the penalty spot after Stina Segerstrom brought down Lori Chalupny.
And Wambach took her tally to 80 goals in 98 internationals when she unleashed a searing left-footed half-volley in the 58th minute after expertly bringing down a lofted ball from Kristine Lilly.
Wambach was playing with 11 stitches in a head wound suffered in the first match of the tournament.
Her third strike of the week ensured that the U.S. bounced back from their opening draw against North Korea and took over top spot in Group B.
Greg Ryan's team next face Nigeria on September 18 in Shanghai while the third-ranked Swedes, with one point from two games, face the Koreans in their last match in Tianjin.
North Korea joined the Americans on four points after beating Nigeria 2-0 with first-half goals by Kim Kyong-Hwa and Ri Kum Suk.
Kim netted the opener in the 17th minute with a curling corner that evaded goalkeeper Precious Dede and went in off the back post.
And four minutes later captain Ri headed home another corner from Kim.
Meanwhile, in Group A action on Friday, defending champions Germany were held to a 0-0 draw by England in Shanghai.
The result means that England, who also drew their opening game, can qualify for the quarterfinals if they beat Argentina by at least two goals in their final match.
Germany are joint-top in the group with four points alongside their final opponents Japan, who earlier edged past the South Americans 1-0 thanks to an injury-time goal by Yuki Nagasato.
Nagasato pounced to score after Argentina goalkeeper Romina Ferrero could only parry a low drive from Yukari Kinga.
Japan, who scored a last-minute equalizer against England in their opening match, must now target victory against the Germans.
However, Argentina are eliminated despite showing a massive improvement on their opening 11-0 drubbing by Germany. E-mail to a friend