South Korea moved up to first place in Group B after the fourth round of matches at the International Handball Federation Women's World Championship in Japan.
The South Koreans beat Australia 34-17 at Yamaga City Overall Gymnasium to leapfrog Germany at the summit of the standings with seven points.
Germany had the opportunity to regain top spot when they faced defending champions France later in the day, but they suffered a first defeat of the tournament, losing 27-25, and remain on six points.
South Korea and Germany meet on Friday (December 6) to decide the winner of Group B.
Today's one other match in Group B saw Denmark overcome Brazil 24-18.
Denmark are level on five points with third-placed France.
The two teams go up against each other on Friday to determine the one other qualifier for the main round from Group B.
Brazil and Australia are out of contention.
In Group C, Spain and Montenegro both made it four wins out of four to set up a mouthwatering clash between the two sides on Friday.
Spain beat Kazakhstan 43-16, while Montenegro came from behind to edge Romania 27-26.
Third place in the rankings is occupied by Hungary, who defeated Senegal 30-20.
They are level on four points with fourth-placed Romania and will face their European counterparts in a winner-takes-all clash on Friday.
Senegal and Kazakhstan are still pointless and have been eliminated.
Competition continues tomorrow with the fourth round of matches in Groups A and D.
The main round is due to begin on Sunday (December 8).
It will follow a rest day on Saturday (December 7).