Nikita Parris scored the only goal of the game as Manchester City beat Sunderland to claim their first win of the Women's Super League season.
Parris headed in from a corner on 17 minutes while Sarah Wiltshire and Toni Duggan went close to adding a second.
City's Alex Brooks, in for suspended keeper Karen Bardsley, denied Brooke Chaplen, Beth Mead and Sarah McFadden.
City's Natasha Harding hit the woodwork late on and Rachel Lawes tipped the follow-up effort onto the bar.
Defeat for newly promoted Sunderland, in their first first top-flight match at Hetton Park, came a week after beating defending champions Liverpool on their WSL 1 debut.
Parris's first-half effort for the visitors was the on-loan Everton striker's first Women's Super League goal for City. She also netted a brace on her debut in the fifth round of the FA Cup last month.
Sunderland captain Steph Bannon:
"It was really disappointing to concede from a set piece considering we've been trying to work on them. We've played two games now and we've conceded two set pieces.
"It was an encouraging performance. It's not the result we wanted but the fact we're disappointed to get beat 1-0 by Man City shows how far we've come.
"They've got many internationals in their side compared to us. We've got two or three and the fact that we've competed and we're disappointed just sums it up for us."
Manchester City manager Nick Cushing:
"We said it was a must-win game for us and we've done it, so we're really pleased.
"The Sunderland team is a good team and they will be fine in this league. Defensively, they're hard to break down and they can counter you really quickly, so to come here and beat them away is very pleasing.
"We spoke in pre-season about our defence so we've been on the training pitch and really worked hard. Two clean sheets and only two shots on target in those games - that shows the defensive progress we've made."
Sunderland: Laws; Holmes, Bannon, Sharp, V Williams; Furness, Chaplen, McFadden; Ramshaw, Mead, S Williams (Kelly 46).
Substitutes not used: Black, Greenwell, Gutteridge, McDougall, Wilson, Bass.
Bookings: Furness (45), Bannon (66), V Williams (68).
Manchester City: Brooks; McManus (Lipman 82), Nightingale, Radtke, Stokes; Christiansen, Scott, Beattie; Parris, Duggan (Johnston 71), Wiltshire (Harding 67).
Substitutes not used: Seasman.
Attendance: 1, 433.
Referee: Lucy May.