Australia wrapped up the two-match women’s international football series against China with a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Parramatta Stadium.
Goals in each half from star forward Lisa De Vanna and Emily van Egmond were enough for the eighth-ranked Matildas to seal the victory over 16th-ranked China.
Australia won the opening match 2-0 in Wollongong on Sunday with the team building towards next year’s Asian Women’s Cup, which double as FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifiers.
“We didn’t play well but we won,” said Australian coach Hesterine De Reus.
“The positive for me is that we still won a poor game. I thought we had some poor defending and poor passing but despite that winning is a positive.
“We still have a lot of players out (injured). I think we are still on track for the Asian Women’s Cup.”
Australia made just one change to their line-up from game one, bringing in van Egmond in place of Sam Kerr who has travelled to Japan with Sydney FC for the Women’s World Club Championship.
The headline-grabbing De Vanna, who recently was named Australian women’s player of the year, opened the scoring on the half-hour with a glancing close-range header after fellow forward Michelle Heyman provided the assist.
However, there were few clear-cut chances in the opening half as Australia failed to find the same level of fluency they enjoyed in the opening game.
Australia doubled their advantage as van Egmond, playing in an unfamiliar attacking role, made the most of her recall by smartly turning in Heyman’s wayward shot.
China striker Ying Li had two sights of goal in the second half but failed to truly test goalkeeper Lydia Williams on either occasion as the Australia defence remained solid.
Li though pulled a goal back for the visitors from the penalty spot midway through the second half, with Australia captain Clare Polkinghorne conceding the spot-kick for a handball.