Mariah Williams strikes late to earn win for Hockeyroos

Australia's Hockeyroos have snatched a late, late 1-0 win over Japan at the Perth International Festival of Hockey, thanks to a terrific final-minute goal from Mariah Williams.

It's not the first time that the 28-year-old has popped up to torment Japan in this fashion, having also put the Australian women ahead late in their 2-0 victory at the World Cup in Spain in 2022.

A proved a similar story on Saturday to that meeting in Terrassa, with the Hockeyroos eventually finding a way through for victory in the main event after China had earlier thrashed Australia's A team 5-1.

Victory was earned through the tenacity of Williams, who recovered possession with a tackle at the edge of the opposition circle and unleashed a powerful shot past Japan's goalkeeper Akio Tanaka.

It was a tough challenge for the hosts, the world's fourth-ranked team, against 10th-ranked Japan, who began frenetically, forcing the Hockeyroos on the defensive.

Mariah Williams hockey
Williams has previously proved a thorn for the Japanese team in big events. (Bianca De Marchi/AAP PHOTOS)

Bec Greiner had a goal chalked off while Tanaka was also kept busy dealing with penalty corners, while player of the match Steph Kershaw was a thorn for the visitors, shooting just wide.

But the Australian fitness and determination began to tell in the final quarter as they besieged the Japan goal told and were finally rewarded through Williams' winner just 55 seconds before the end of the match.

Australia will next face China on Sunday, while their reserve side will play Japan at the Perth Hockey Stadium.