Isobel Christiansen scored the only goal of the game as England ended their Far East adventure with a deserved 1-0 win over World Cup quarter finalists Australia in Yongchuang.
The Manchester City midfielder, who made a goalscoring start to her international career against Estonia last month, was played in by club mate Lucy Bronze and beat Aussie goalkeeper Lydia Williams from an acute angle to seal the victory.
And the Lionesses might have won the game by a greater margin as Eniola Aluko hit the bar in the first half and Jill Scott, who was celebrating her 100th cap, hit two efforts over the top after the break.
England 1-0 Australia
Tuesday 27 October 2015
The milestone midfielder then found Jodie Taylor inside the box but the 29-year-old was foiled by Williams.
However, Christiansen’s goal will provide Mark Sampson’s squad with a timely boost, with European champions Germany and then Bosnia-Herzegovina up next for them in November.
There were two changes from Friday’s 2-1 defeat by China, with the impressive Demi Stokes and Claire Rafferty coming in for Gemma Davison and Lianne Sanderson, as Sampson tried a 4-4-1-1 formation – with Christiansen tucked in behind Aluko.
England began well too, with Aluko and Bronze hitting early efforts just over the top.
Matildas forward Samantha Kerr then had a couple of shots of her own in quick succession. The first was a low, angled drive which was well held by Karen Bardsley. The second a 10-yard half-volley from Katrina Gorry’s cross, but she was denied once more by the Manchester City keeper’s reflexes.
Emily Van-Egmond was the next Australian to go close, when heading Stephanie Catley’s cross over the bar from just six yards out.
But the nearest either side came to breaking the deadlock in the first half was when Aluko smashed a shot against the bar from eight yards out after Bronze’s right-sided cross fell invitingly for her.
Highlights of England's win over Australia in China
Bronze was at the heart of the action again as England took the lead just after the restart – and it was a goal made in Manchester.
City defender Stokes chipped a ball out to the far side, which club mate Bronze helped on first time.
The weight of the pass was perfect and Christiansen, another Blue, clipped home a neat finish from a tight angle.
Moments later, Scott had a great chance to mark her special day with a goal, but she could only blaze wildly over when well placed inside the box.
She had another effort just after the hour mark when Taylor, who scored a hat-trick the last time these two sides met, laid the ball off – unfortunately for the 28-year-old it was the same outcome as before.
The roles were reversed soon after as Scott picked out Taylor with a pinpoint through ball. Williams raced from her line to narrow the angle and saved the Portland Thorns striker’s shot with her legs.
The pair dovetailed yet again as Taylor prodded Scott’s pass into the net from inside the box but the assistant referee’s flag had already been raised for an offside.
Australia rallied late on but to little effect as England signed off from their two-game stay in China with a deserved victory.
Next up is the small matter of Germany in Duisburg on 26 November, before a Euro 2017 qualifier against Bosnia in Bristol on 29 November.
Tickets for the Bosnia match are on sale now priced £5 for adults and £2.50 for children. A family ticket (two adults and two children) is available at £10 and group booking discounts apply.
Tickets can be purchased via TheFA.com/Tickets or by calling 01179 630 600.
England (4-4-1-1): 1 Karen Bardsley (Manchester City); 2 Lucy Bronze (Manchester City), 5 Steph Houghton (C; Manchester City), 12 Gilly Flaherty (Chelsea), 14 Claire Rafferty (Chelsea); 15 Alex Scott (Arsenal), 6 Jill Scott (Manchester City), 4 Jo Potter (Birmingham City), 3 Demi Stokes (Manchester City); 8 Isobel Christiansen (Manchester City); 11 Eniola Aluko (Chelsea).
Substitutes: 9 Jodie Taylor (Portland Thorns) for Aluko 57, 18 Laura Coombs (Chelsea) for Christiansen 90+2
Substitutes not used: 13 Rachael Laws (Sunderland), 21 Mary Earps (Bristol Academy), 7 Gemma Davison (Chelsea), 10 Fran Kirby (Chelsea), 16 Hannah Blundell (Chelsea), 17 Drew Spence (Chelsea), 19 Lianne Sanderson (Portland Thorns), 20 Beth Mead (Sunderland).
Goals: Christiansen 50
Head coach: Mark Sampson
Australia: 1 Lydia Williams, 2 Larissa Crummer, 5 Laura Alleway, 6 Georgia Yeoman, 7 Stephanie Catley, 8 Elise Kellond-Knight, 9 Caitlin Foord, 10 Emily Van-Egmond, 11 Lisa De Vanna (C), 19 Katrina Gorry, 20 Samantha Kerr.
Substitutes: 17 Kyah Simon for Crummer 60, 13 Tameka Butt for Gorry 60, 14 Alanna Kennedy for Yeoman 72
Substitutes not used: 21 Mackenzie Arnold, 4 Clare Polkinghorne, 12 Amy Harrison, 15 Tara Andrews, 16 Hayley Raso, 22 Caitlin Cooper, 23 Michelle Heyman.
Head coach: Alen Stajcic
Referee: Liang Qin (CHN)