Roy Hodgson praises England players despite Sweden loss

England manager Roy Hodgson was happy with his side's display in their friendly against Sweden on Wednesday, despite a 4-2 defeat.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all four Sweden goals in Stockholm to steal the headlines from England's six debutants.

"I thought it was a good performance," Hodgson told BBC Sport. "For large periods I can be more than satisfied.

"Many players who got a chance came out with great credit. For long periods we were quite dominant and in control."

Prolific Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the first player to score a hat-trick against England since Marco van Basten in June 1988

England boss Hodgson, who handed skipper Steven Gerrard his 100th cap, arrived at the new 50,000-seat Friends Arena having lost just one of his first 11 games in charge.

They had won their previous two matches against Sweden, but were without a victory in Stockholm since 1937.

Although Erik Hamren's side took the lead when Ibrahimovic fired home, Danny Welbeck equalised and Steven Caulker made it 2-1.

Ibrahimovic levelled with a fierce volley, lashed a free-kick past Joe Hart and sealed the result with an incredible overhead kick.

"Obviously it was disappointing to concede three goals in the last 15 minutes when we were looking so good at 2-1," said Hodgson.

Gerrard praises England youngsters

"The free-kick was from a very, very long way out, and was a free-kick that on many occasions Joe Hart would stop.

"I wasn't expecting Sweden to score at any minute. Their opportunities were, really, quite limited."

Hodgson handed first caps to Caulker, Leon Osman and Raheem Sterling from the start, while Ryan Shawcross, Carl Jenkinson and Wilfried Zaha came on as substitutes in the second half.

Jack Wilshere came off the bench to make his first international appearance since June 2011 following ankle and knee injuries.

"I took the risk to give debutants a chance - obviously that will open things up - and I was hoping we'd hold out," Hodgson added.

"I thought our passing and movement was good and when we took the 2-1 lead it was a correct assessment of what we had seen on the field. Ibrahimovic being kept on cost us a result.

"I thought the debutants were good, all of them did fine and I am certainly a wiser man than [I was] before this game, going into 2013.

"We were undone by some individual brilliance and maybe a bit of inexperience."