After 10 years and more than 60 games, Jordan Henderson has finally experienced the feeling of scoring for England’s national team.
The 31-year-old midfielder got his team’s final goal on Saturday in a 4-0 victory over Ukraine in the European Championship quarterfinals.
Henderson headed in Mason Mount’s corner in the second half at the Stadio Olimpico, keeping his eyes fixed on the ball as it flew into the net like he wanted to make sure it was really happening.
“It was a real special moment. I’ve waited a long time,” said Henderson, who plays for Liverpool in the Premier League. “To get it in the quarterfinal of the European Championships, it’s not a bad place to get it.”
Henderson made his England debut on Nov. 17, 2010, and played another 60 matches for the team without managing to get on the scoresheet. When he came on for Declan Rice in the 57th minute against Ukraine, it was his 62nd appearance for England. Six minutes later, he connected on Mount’s corner kick to make it 4-0.
Ecstatic, Henderson rushed toward the corner flag to celebrate with his teammates.
“I’m so happy for Jordan,” said striker Harry Kane, who scored two of England’s goals on Saturday. “I know he’s been desperate to score that goal. There’s no better place to do it.”
Kane, the England captain, called Henderson “a great leader, a great role model to have in this squad.”
Henderson said it was “a really special night for me personally” and for England, which had never before won a European Championship match by a four-goal margin.
The team will next face Denmark in the Euro 2020 semifinals on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium in London.
“We can enjoy it a little a bit on the way home but not too much,” Henderson said. “We need to keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game.”