Wales international reveals five-word message to team-mate which led to career-defining moment
Jess Fishlock’s tip to team-mate Rachel Rowe set up a potentially history-defining moment for the Welsh national team.
The OL Reign midfielder’s eye-catching goal won the World Cup qualifier for her country against Bosnia and Herzegovina to send Wales through to the play-off final.
Fishlock, who is her national team’s most-capped player, returned from a hamstring injury to provide the match-defining moment which will give Wales the chance to play for a place at the 2023 World Cup, which would be their first ever finals.
A record crowd of over 15,000 fans watched Fishlock’s goal decide a tense match in which Gemma Grainger’s side had an incredible four goals chalked off for offside.
After a goalless deadlock sent the match to extra-time, Wales won a free kick in their opponents half and Rachel Rowe stepped up to deliver it.
As her former Reading team-mate stood over the ball, Fishlock passed on some special instructions for the delivery.
“What I do remember is saying to Haz [Angharad James], “Go over there and tell Rachel [Rowe] to ‘whip it in, front post’,” Fishlock revealed after the game. “And I’ll get on the end of it.
“I was getting frustrated with our lofted balls and them always getting first contact.
“Thankfully they listened to me, which was pretty nice.”
Fishlock was easily the first player to Rowe’s delivery and struck a tidy first-time volley to send the ball into the back of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s net, sparking wild celebrations among the Wales team.
Played out in front of thousands at the Cardiff City stadium, it’s a memory that Fishlock will cherish.
“Tonight was a pretty special,” Fishlock said.
“I think that was my best and most important Wales goal, probably both.
“It was pure emotion we have for each other and pure relief; don’t think I’ve felt something like that before to be honest.”
“It’s one of those moments that you dream of and want in your career.
“The crowd was fantastic, the celebration was epic, so it was all in all a really good moment. “
Next up, Wales will contest a play-off final to either qualify outright for next summer’s tournament or enter a further inter-continental qualifier in New Zealand next year.
The Dragons are the rank outsiders for the deciding game next Tuesday, when they’ll face Switzerland in Zurich - but Fishlock thinks that could work in their favour.
"We have no pressure on us, no one expects us to win," she said.