A wonder-goal from Arsenal’s Conor Henderson was the highlight of Ireland’s U-21’s 4-2 victory over the Azzuri in Italy.
The Arsenal midfielder picked up the ball just inside the Italian half before moving menacingly towards the goal as the Italian defenders backed off. Then, and from almost 35m, the youngster let fly with an absolute belter of a shot that almost tore the back of the net from the goal.
It was truly a goal of world class quality and one that brings misty eyed memories of this goal from Arie Haan in 1978, which coincidentally was also against Italy. Go figure!
For anyone that’s interested, the game between Ireland and Italy had everything.
The match had to be stopped twice due to flood light failures, Ireland had two men sent off, yes you read that right, Aaron McCarey saved a penalty, and then they went on to record their greatest ever U-21 victory through goals from the aforementioned Henderson, a brace from Inverness Caledonian Thistle’s Aaron Doran and one from Watford’s Sean Murray.
While Henderson’s strike was the pick of the goals, each and every one was brilliant. Murray’s chip would have Lionel Messi purring and Doran’s two goals so were like Fernando Torres in his pomp that Irish fans would have been forgiven for wondering how and where these youngters have come from.
As for Henderson, the prodigious youth seems to be developing a reputation for scoring great goals from outside the box.
In August, the 21-year-old scored a wonderful free-kick for Arsenal’s U-21’s against Bolton at the Emirates which you can view here.
It’s worth seeing, especially if you’re an Arsenal fan!
As a player, Henderson is a powerful midfielder with an extremely deft touch. Like all Arsenal players he is technically excellent and has been brought up to keep the ball on the ground where it belongs. The 21-year-old also stands at 6’1″ and is still developing physically so if he can keep on the path he is currently on he really could be the future of the Gunners’ and Ireland’s midfield for years to come.
Watch Henderson’s 35m strike above. It’s a wonder strike that Arsenal and Ireland fans will be hoping Henderson repeats in the not too distant future.