England came from a goal down to edge Brazil in their opening match of the SheBelieves Cup, while tournament hosts USA were twice pegged back by Japan in a 2-2 tie.
The Lionesses were behind in controversial circumstances on 16 minutes, Andressa Silva converting a penalty after Lucy Bronze’s tackle on Marta had been deemed to be a foul.
Nikita Parris and Fran Kirby went close to a first-half equaliser but the second period was only 4 minutes old when Ellen White lashed an angled effort into the net.
After Parris saw her shot saved by Aline, substitute Beth Mead thundered home a spectacular winner from the right-hand side of the box.
England next play USA in Nashville on Saturday night – live on BBC Two from 9.30pm – and the Americans had to settle for a point against Japan, who levelled in added time.
Tobin Heath crossed for Megan Rapinoe to open the scoring on 23 minutes and midway through the second half Tierna Davidson’s attempted clearance fell for Emi Nakajima to curl a shot into the net.
The USA restored their lead 9 minutes later, Christen Press coming off the bench to cross for Alex Morgan to bring down the ball and net her 99th international goal.
However, in the 91st minute Yui Hasegawa squared the ball across the face of goal for Yuka Momiki to lift it over a sprawling Alyssa Naeher for the equaliser.