History makers and record breakers. Jess Fishlock’s extra-time goal fired Cymru through in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Play-Off against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Cardiff.
Gemma Grainger’s team will now play Switzerland in their second Play-Off match on Tuesday, 11 October in Zurich as the quest continues.
Cymru have never progressed from a qualifying group prior to this match, so history was already written but in front of a record crowd of 15,200 at Cardiff City Stadium they excited the fans with a positive display.
In total, Cymru had four goals ruled out for offside and struck the post but as each minute ticked away there was fear in the back of everyone’s mind that Bosnia and Herzegovina would inflict pain. However, this Cymru team is bursting with character and they kept their heads held high to win the match.
“It’s a mixture of emotions right now,” Fishlock told BBC Wales. “It’s a phenomenal moment that I never really thought I would see in a Wales shirt.”
Fishlock’s added time goal in the first half of extra-time will be an iconic moment in the journey of this team as she drifted in towards the front post to meet a free kick that was coming into the box. She volleyed her strike back across the goal and into the top lefthand corner to spark wild celebrations in Cardiff City Stadium.
“Big players turn up in big games and that’s what Jess did for this team tonight.”Gemma Grainger
Cymru captain Sophie Ingle praised the fans following the match: “When I started only a couple of hundred of people came to watch, so it’s unbelievable we’ve got to this stage.” That record crowd really got behind the players and it clearly spurred them on during extra-time.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Ingle added. “We showed resilience, we made it hard for ourselves and kept the fans on the edge of their seats but we got the job done.”
This could have been a comfortable victory for Cymru with Kayleigh Green twice having goals ruled out for offside. Strikes from Fishlock and Ffion Morgan were also chalked off through the assistant referee’s flag.
It was a match full of drama but in the end, Cymru did it and are inspiring a generation of children as they go about their work.
It’s now all about Switzerland on Tuesday.
Cymru: Laura O’Sullivan, Rhiannon Roberts, Rachel Rowe, Gemma Evans, Hayley Ladd; Angharad James, Sophie Ingle, Jess Fishlock (Helen Ward 115’); Carrie Jones (Ffion Morgan 81’), Ceri Holland; Kayleigh Green (Megan Wynne 120’). Subs: Olivia Clark, Saf Middleton-Patel, Lily Woodham, Josie Green, Chloe Bull, Elise Hughes, Charlie Estcourt, Georgia Walters, Anna Filbey,
Goal: Fishlock 105+2’
Bosnia-Herzegovina XI: Almina Hodzic; Gloria Sliskovic (Ena Taslidza 81’), Melisa Hasanbegovic, Marija Milinkovic, Selma Kapetanovic (Merjma Medic 70’); Zerina Piskic (Amina Mujanovic 113’), Marija Aleksic; Ena Sabanagic, Dajana Spasojevic (Andrea Grebenar 105+2’), Andrea Gavric (Dajana Markovic 113’); Minela Gacanica (Maja Jelcic 70’).