The Women's World Cup in Canada is off and running, with the top three seeds all off to flying starts with victories. Number one seeds Germany confirmed many neutrals fears by thrashing the plucky minnows from the Ivory Coast. USA were convincing winners over the Australians. Third seeds Japan were slightly fortunate to edge a close game against Switzerland.

Germany 10 - 0 Ivory Coast

For any team to lose to the mighty Germans in women's Football is no disgrace, given their history and pedigree within the game. Their top ranking confirms the belief of many that they are the team to beat in Canada, with an illustrious trophy cabinet to back their claims up: twice World Cup winners (2003 and 2007); eight times winners of the European Championship, including the last six titles.

Yet, the manner with which they dismantled the Ivory Coast 10-0 in their first match in Ottawa spoke volumes about the gulf between the two nations in footballing terms. Given that their opponents are only ranked 67th in the world, the result should perhaps have come as no great surprise. Their best player, despite the heavy defeat, was their valiant goalkeeper Dominique Thiamale who saved many more opportunities in the one-sided encounter.

Celia Sasic and Anja Mittag were not complaining for the rampant Germans, as they both helped themselves to hat-tricks, Sasic achieving the feat with only 31 minutes on the clock. By the end, the only real surprise was that the Germans could not at least match their record 11-0 success over Argentina in 2007.

The fixture was reminiscent of the early days in men's football for the African sides, when the Europeans were deemed to have the tactical and technical advantage. In the men's game the gap has of course closed, with many top African players now plying their trade abroad. Fitness levels in the women's game can still be an issue, as five of Germany's goals came in the last 25 minutes as the Ivorians visibly tired.

There was always a possibility that some of the sides could be 'humbled', once the competition was expanded to 24 teams, allowing some of the lesser nations their chance to gain vital experience. The risk was deemed worthwhile for now, but one wonders if the experiment will persist in future if there are many more repeats.

USA 3 - 1 Australia

USA also enjoyed a solid victory against Australia, confirming the three points with two second-half goals in Winnipeg. The 2011 runners-up opened the scoring through Megan Rapinoe on 12 minutes, but were pegged back before half-time as Lisa De Vanna equalised for the Aussies. The Americans sealed their triumph after the break thanks to goals from Christen Press and a second strike for 29-year-old Rapinoe.

The Americans have a tough group, with Australia ranked 10th and Sweden (their next opponents) expected to provide stern opposition as 5th best in the rankings.

Japan 1 - 0 Switzerland

Reigning world champions Japan secured a narrow victory in Vancouver against the Swiss, as a first-half penalty from Aya Miyama proved sufficient.

Elsewhere in the tournament, Brazil's 2-0 victory over South Korea included a piece of World Cup history. Their second-half goal from the penalty spot was scored by Marta, making her the all-time top goal-scorer with 15 goals in the finals. That is one more than former German star striker Birgit Prinz.