England vs Romania: Goalkeeper's bizarre tactic before Jordan Henderson's penalty miss

  • Kobe Tong

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Jordan Henderson made his return to action for England on Sunday night.

Having not made a single appearance for Liverpool since February, the Champions League winner was keen to show that he was back to full fitness ahead of the European Championships.

As such, Gareth Southgate brought the Reds talisman on for the second-half of their final warm-up game for the tournament against Romania.

Romania goalkeeper's bizarre technique

England were labouring their way through a goalless scoreline at the time, but were able to take the lead when Jack Grealish won a penalty with some fantastic trickery at the Riverside Stadium.

Manchester United's Marcus Rashford, who was captaining the Three Lions for the first time, duly stepped up and calmly slotted the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

However, the behaviour of Romania's goalkeeper Florin Niță caught the eye of many onlookers with the shot-stopper bizarrely keeping his hands behind his back until the very last moment.

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Now, we don't profess to be goalkeeping experts, but you'd be forgiven for thinking that putting your hands in such an inconvenient position would be putting yourself at a serious disadvantage.

Niță gets the better of Henderson

And while that theory might have carried weight after Rashford's competent conversion, the doubters - including ourselves - were silenced when Niță proved that it can indeed work.

That's because Niță used the exact same tactic with far more success later in the game when Henderson attempted to mark his comeback with a goal from the penalty spot.

And despite Henderson's opponent keeping his gloves disguised until the very moment that he needed to dive, he was able to deny the Liverpool captain with a convincing save.

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Henderson denied once again

Well, it goes to show that we know nothing about goalkeeping, I guess, because it's clear that the hands-behind-the-back tactic is something that can really work for Niță.

Besides, it's mightily impressive the speed at which he whipped his hands from around his back and down to his right-hand side to make such an emphatic save from Henderson.

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However, it goes without saying that Henderson made a lot of the problems for himself with a strike that was not only at a comfortable height for the goalkeeper, but not far enough in the corner.

It was, after all, an even weaker spot-kick than his miss in the penalty shootout victory over Colombia in the 2018 FIFA World Cup round of 16. 

And while yet another miss from 12 yards means that Henderson's long wait for an England goal goes on, I think we can all agree that it's just good to see him back in action before Euro 2020.

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