World Cup: Frank Lampard hails England youngsters after 2-2 draw with Ecuador
Last Updated: 04/06/14 11:51pm
Frank Lampard hailed England's impressive youngsters after Roy Hodgson's side were held to a 2-2 draw with Ecuador in Miami.
England started brightly but fell behind after just eight minutes as Enner Valencia headed beyond Ben Foster to give Ecuador an early lead. Wayne Rooney then bundled home an equaliser from close range before Rickie Lambert fired Hodgson's men in front just after the break.
But a stunning strike from Michael Arroyo ensured their penultimate World Cup warm-up game would end in a draw as Raheem Sterling and Antonio Valencia were both shown a red card for an altercation after a reckless lunge from the Liverpool winger.
Ross Barkley caught the eye on his first England start, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also stood out prior to limping off with a worrying injury, and Lampard, who captained the side, was full of praise for the Three Lions' youthful stars.
"That's what you want from the players. That's what you're talking about with the young players, they give you that edge going forward," he told Sky Sports.
"I think all of the front boys, in an attacking sense, had lots of good moments and showed some good stuff. It's a shame we didn't get more goals to finish them off and put them out of the game."
After a 3-0 win over Peru at Wembley, the England team have been training in Miami as they look to adjust to the climates awaiting them in Brazil, but Lampard says that the best preparation is to actually go out and play games.
"I didn't know what to expect. We wanted to try and play at a competitive level. It's the first proper game in these conditions, we trained yesterday but you can't match that," he said.
"They gave a lot to the game. I think we probably tired towards the back end of it but there was a lot of good stuff before that.
"We started the game brilliantly and it was really upsetting to go 1-0 down because we could have been one or two up by then.
"We carried it on in the first half - some of our forward play and balls smashing across the box - we looked really sharp."
Asked if he thought Sterling's dismissal was harsh, Lampard replied: "I think so. It's a bit of a shame really, especially in a friendly game.
"I think there's no real need. I'm disappointed for Raheem because he's trying to do the right thing, he's trying to track back and make a tackle.
"That (Valencia's reaction) made more of a meal of it. If that hadn't have happened, I don't think the referee would have sent either of them off really."
Lampard also believes that the friendly was a worthwhile exercise and that it enabled Roy Hodgson to find out more about his squad.
"I think he was very pleased. We're all pleased. It's one of those ones to look back on and there will be positives and negatives . I think we're a bit more sure as a group," he said.
"We need to make sure they don't let them counter attack because that was their strength. I think we were pretty much in control of the game."
Ben Foster deputised in goal for the first time since last May and he believes Wayne Rooney helped to prove some of his doubters wrong with a much-improved display from out wide on the left.
"We wanted some good individual performances and the players that we needed them from, I think we got them from," he said.
"We obviously got a good goal from Wayne as well. That's what Wayne does, he scores goals. It's as simple as that.
"Some of the younger lads put a good shift in as well. It was a good work out. It would have been nice to get the win but the draw's not too bad."
Foster was forced into action on a number of occasions and he admitted his delight at being back involved in the national team as he collected his seventh England cap.
"It was great. I really enjoyed it. It was my first game for about a year or so for England and I think if you can't enjoy games like that just before a World Cup, then you've got something wrong."