Jess Fishlock admitted her World Cup play-off winner for Wales against Bosnia and Herzegovina was a moment that she could only dream about.
Fishlock’s spectacular extra-time volley gave Wales a 1-0 victory at the Cardiff City Stadium as the Dragons advanced to a European play-off final in Switzerland on Tuesday.
If Wales overcome that obstacle, they will probably face an inter-continental play-off in February to qualify for next summer’s Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Fishlock said: “It was one of those moments you kind of dream of, and the celebration was epic.
“I didn’t even know what to do and I ended up sliding, which is not me.
“It was pure emotion we have for each other and pure relief. I don’t think I’ve felt something like that before to be honest.”
US-based Fishlock, a two-time Champions League winner who has won nine domestic titles in her celebrated playing career, paid tribute to her team-mates as Wales seek to qualify for a first major tournament.
She said: “This group has changed an entire nation off the field in what we’ve done on the field.
“We have never have been in this situation before. But this group has mentality, fight and belief, and we are going to be better for this game.
“This group is so much bigger than one person. We all know our jobs and our roles.
“I know my role is producing and creating for this team, taking it to another level and I have done that.
“We’ve got nothing to lose in Switzerland. What have we got to be scared of? Let’s go and enjoy it.”
Head coach Gemma Grainger said Wales never lost belief after dominating the game and having four goals disallowed.
Kayleigh Green saw two efforts ruled out for offside before Ffion Morgan and Fishlock were also denied by a flagging assistant in the final 10 minutes.
Grainger said: “To have four disallowed goals it’s hard not to be disappointed. But we were relentless and never wavered.
“We knew we were the better team, but the crowd kept us going after disallowed goal after disallowed goal.”
On their Switzerland mission and quick five-day turnaround, Grainger said: “In a (European) final of a World Cup play-off, I’m not sure if it matters what you’ve done in previous games.
“I don’t think anything will stop these girls in terms of tiredness.
“We know we won’t be favourites in Switzerland, they’re a higher ranked team and have just played in the European Championship.
“But the belief in this team is let’s flip it. Everyone will think Switzerland will win and we’ve got to use that to our advantage.
“Bosnia showed us what the underdog mentality is, and we have got the belief to perform against higher ranked opposition.”