White’s 20th goal in 60 appearances for the Lionesses came in the 89th minute after Lucy Bronze’s half-volley off a corner kick caromed off the crossbar into the area. The 27-year-old muscled through American defenders Julie Johnston and Becky Sauerbrunn and fired the winner into the roof of the net, shocking the World Cup holders and silencing the announced sellout crowd of 26,500.
“To get the win, to get the goal, to beat USA on home soil; I’m pretty ecstatic to be honest,” White said afterward. “We needed a big win in this tournament. I’m buzzing, absolutely buzzing.”
White’s winner came in the second edition of the SheBelieves Cup, a friendly tournament competed in by the world’s top-four FIFA ranked teams.
The triumph was England’s first win over the USA since the 2011 Women’s World Cup, with White plundering in from close range at the Red Bull Arena following Lucy Bronze’s cracking drive from 25 yards, which rebounded out off the bottom of the crossbar.
England, who are the lowest ranked of the four teams competing in the cup, lost their opening game to France on Wednesday and had to rely on goalkeeper Siobhan Chamberlain to make a stunning save after 19th minutes to deny Rose Lavelle from point-black range.
Mark Sampson’s side were missing defender Casey Stoney due to a hamstring injury and will be without the 34-year-old for the remainder of the competition but, after a shaky start, the Lionesses grew into the fixture.
Striker Nikita Parris brought a superb save from Ashlyn Harris with a fierce drive after 32 minutes before Toni Duggan fired an effort inches over the bar shortly afterwards.
Duggan brought Harris into action again after 71 minutes with a 25-yard free-kick as England grew in confidence, before White grabbed a dramatic winner.
England will next face Germany in their final game on Tuesday, with Samson looking to build ahead of this summer’s European Championship in the Netherlands.
White and co will compete against Spain, Portugal and Scotland in Group D, with Samson urging his side to build towards the “battle of Britain”.
England will next face Italy and Austria in April as further preparation, before tuning their attentions firmly towards the Euros.