Georgia Stanway marked her first Women's World Cup start with an assist as England finished the group stage with a 100 per cent record with a 2-0 victory against Japan.

Barrovian Stanway, who is the youngest member of the Lionesses' squad, set up the first of Ellen White's two goals with a superb through ball in the 14th minute of the match in Nice.

The 20-year-old was one of eight changes made to the starting line-up by England coach Phil Neville from last Friday's 1-0 win against Argentina and she featured for 74 minutes before being subbed off for Karen Carney.

Japan, who defeated the Lionesses in the semi-finals of the 2015 tournament, came close to opening the scoring when a terrific free kick from Kumi Yokoyama from 35 yards was tipped on to the bar by Karen Bardsley.

But England went ahead when Stanway played a sublime pass with the outside of her right foot that put White through on goal and her finish just had enough pace to beat the covering Japanese defender.

Stanway almost doubled the lead when a corner was pulled back for the Manchester City striker and her swerving strike from the edge of the area was tipped away by Japan 'keeper Ayaka Yamashita.

The second half was a nervy affair for England, who found themselves being pressed back for long periods by their opponents, partly as a result of some sloppy passing out from defence.

Bardsley came to their rescue again when she produced another excellent save, this time to deny Yuika Sugasawa.

Against the run of play, England sealed the points with six minutes left when Carney slipped through a pass for White, who will become a clubmate of Stanway's at City next season, to score at the near post.

The Lionesses' last 16 tie will take place at Valenciennes on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 4:30pm), although their opponents are still up in the air.

It will be Chile if they beat Thailand on Thursday night, but if they fail to do so it will be the winners of New Zealand and Cameroon, while it could still be China if neither of those teams make it through.