Tabitha Chawinga put up a fine display as Jiangsu Suning defeated Beijing Phoenix 1-0 in a Chinese Women's Super League encounter.
The Chinese champions had suffered a losing start to the four-team tournament following a 1-0 defeat against Wuhan in their last outing, and were eager to keep their title hopes alive against Beijing.
Chawinga continued to impress for Jiangsu this season, scoring 11 goals in nine appearances in her third season in China.
Chawinga looked to have given Jiangsu an early lead after her superb header in the fifth minute of the encounter but her effort was cancelled by the assistant referee for offside.
A minute later, the holders almost took the lead when the Malawian raced in from the left before setting up Ni Mengjie but the latter failed to convert the chance from inside the six-yard box.
In the 16th minute, Beijing almost gifted Jiangsu the lead when Chawinga's pass from the left into the box came off Wang Chen but she was lucky not to score an own goal as the ball went wide.
Chawinga won a free kick on the edge of the area and Zhai Qingwei struck from long distance to fire past goalkeeper Chu Qiao for Jiangsu's lead in the 28th minute.
Six minutes from the break, Chawinga was denied by Qiao again before she went on to beat her markers to reach the six yards box, but her resulting shot went inches wide on the brink of half-time.
Jiangsu held on to claim their first win of the four-team competition, accruing three points from two games and they must overcome Barbra Banda's Shanghai Shengli to reach the final on October 6.
And Chawinga will be hoping to play a vital role in her side's aspiration to reach the final in a bid to retain their title this term.