Li Jie finally made their pressure tell with a headed opener
shortly before the hour and Xie Caixia's fine individual strike
in the closing stages secured the three points for the tournament
hosts, who can now look forward to a quarter-final date with Norway
in Wuhan on Sunday.
For New Zealand, meanwhile, this third defeat meant they finished their China 2007 campaign with neither a point nor a goal to their name.
China made their intentions clear in the very first minute when
Zhang Ouying forced the first save of note from Kiwi goalkeeper
Jenny Bindon, who turned her low shot around the post. Both China
forwards then threatened, Han Duan flashing a shot into the
side-netting from a narrow angle before Ma Xiaoxu tricked her way
between two white shirts only to be denied by Bindon's
The breakthrough finally came 12 minutes into the second half when Zhou Gaoping sent a long free-kick into the penalty box and Li rose above a crowd of players to head into the net. The China No3 breathed a huge sigh of relief after 65 minutes when her mistake gave Zoe Thompson a clear run on goal but with just the keeper to beat, the New Zealand substitute shot wide.
China pushed for a second and after Bindon had tipped over Han's header and Ma's drive struck the crossbar, Xie made it two with a low finish after cutting in from the right.
Player of the Match: Xie Caixia (CHN)