Nigeria were thrashed 3-0 by China in Thursday's Wuhua Four-Nation tournament opener played in Meizhou.
The African champions were hoping to make a winning start to their preparations for this summer's World Cup campaign but ended up bowing to the Steel Roses at the Meizhou Olympic Sports Centre.
FT: China 3-0 Nigeria (Zhang Rui 10', Li Ying 65' 90+2') : @NGSuper_Falcons made a losing start to the year but will focus on bouncing back against Romania in the third place match of the Four Nation Tournament of Wuhua on Sunday #CHNNGA #SoarSuperFalcons #Team9jaStrong
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) January 17, 2019
The hosts, who were reconverging after a 10-match tour of Australia in December 2018, got a well deserved lead through Zhang Rui after 10 minutes in the game.
For Thomas Dennerby's ladies, hopes of bouncing back after the half time break got dashed after Li Ying doubled the lead for the home side in the 65th minute.
On the brink of full time, Ying fired home China's third and her second of the day to ensure the Asian giants defeated the Africans by the same goals as in their last meeting at 2000 Olympics in Sydney.
Following the loss, Nigeria will be hoping to redeem their image when they face Romania, who fell 3-0 to South Korea in the third place match at the same venue on Sunday.