The Football Ferns have been beaten 2-0 by China at an invitational four-nation tournament in Yongchuan this morning.
In their first game since their tough World Cup campaign in June, Tom Sermanni's squad managed to dominate most of the first half despite missing key players Abby Erceg and Meikayla Moore.
However, despite testing the Chinese defence, they were unable to convert on their chances before China took one of their own to get ahead early in the second half.
The hosts added a second in stoppage time.
Sermanni said the team would reflect on their performance more than the scoreline.
"I'm gutted by the result to be honest because I thought it was an outstanding performance," Sermanni said after the match.
"I felt we nullified China for most of the game and created the better chances. Until they scored the first goal, Erin hardly had a save to make and they didn't create a clear chance.
"We had a great chance to equalise and had to take a couple of risks at the end so I think 2-0 was a cruel result for the performance."
One positive from the outing was the debuts of Claudia Bunge, Nicole Stratford and Jana Radosavljevic - Bunge was handed a start while the others got their first caps off the bench.
The Football Ferns next meet Canada on Sunday.