England were forced to come from behind against Brazil to kick off their 2019 SheBelieves Cup campaign with a win, much to the delight of coach Phil Neville as the Lionesses continue to prepare for the upcoming World Cup in France this summer.

Brazil, newcomers to the SheBelieves fold and six places lower than England in the FIFA World Rankings, took the lead after just 16 minutes after being awarded a highly contentious penalty when Lucy Bronze challenged reigning Best FIFA Women's Player Marta in the area - at least VAR will be in use to review such decisions when it comes to the World Cup.


Andessa stepped up to convert the spot-kick past England goalkeeper Carly Telford, with Neville's team still failing to properly get going in what remained of the first half.

But character will be key when England face higher ranked opposition in the remainder of this tournament and in the knockout stages of the World Cup, and character was what shone through from the world's fourth best team after the interval.

Within minutes of the restart at the Talen Energy Stadium on the outskirts of Philadelphia, Birmingham's Ellen White was found by a reverse pass from Chelsea's Fran Kirby and swept a first time left-footed finish into the far corner to equalise.

England then began to get into their rhythm thereafter and it was a spectacular effort from relative newcomer Beth Mead that put them ahead, as she rifled the ball into the top corner beyond the reach of Aline in the Brazilian goal.

Off the bench, Mead only made her senior international debut in 2018 but has now staked her claim for a starting role when England face the United States in their next game on Saturday.


"The pitch was really slow so we had to play in their half and I knew they would tire. We scored two great goals and I enjoyed the test, our defenders had to defend, and it's a big result," Neville told BBC Sport, adding, "the determination in the second half was as good as I've seen as manager."

The USA's 2-2 draw with Japan in the second game gives England an incredible chance of winning the SheBelieves Cup for the first time if they can avoid defeat against the Americans.