Maria Thorisdottir says manager Emma Hayes’s encouragement was behind her first-ever goal for Chelsea Women, which came in our resounding Champions League win in Bosnia on Wednesday.
The Blues kicked off our continental campaign with a thumping 5-0 victory over Sarajevo in the first leg of our last-32 tie, moving us within touching distance of the next round ahead of the second leg, which takes place at Kingsmeadow on Wednesday 26 September.
We were 3-0 up by half-time as goals from Millie Bright and Drew Spence were added to 10 minutes before the interval by Thorisdottir, who notched her first goal for the club at the 29th time of asking as she arrived at the back stick to direct a controlled volley past the keeper.
Ji So-Yun and Adelina Engman, who also notched her first for her new club, netted late on to ensure it was a comfortable victory and Thorisdottir reflected on both the overall performance and her own goalscoring turn.
‘I could have scored a hat-trick,’ exclaimed the softly spoken Norwegian international. ‘I actually don’t remember so much about my goal! I saw Erin had the ball and I knew if it came to the back post I would be there. It was a perfect ball from her and the only thing for me was to just to hit it and try and hit the target. It was nice to get my first goal for Chelsea.
‘Emma encouraged me to get into the box as often as I could, to be wide and then come into the box on the back post. It’s new for me to be in that position but I like it. I switched to centre-back later and I love that position so it was nice to get 10 or 15 minutes in that position as well.
‘We were much better than them, they didn’t have much, and we could have scored a lot more goals, but it’s hard to play against a team who have 10 people behind the ball. I think we scored some very nice goals. We have a lot of room for improvement next game as well.’
Thorisdottir won’t have to wait long for that next fixture as the matches come thick and fast throughout September.
The game in Bosnia was the second of seven to be played this month, with the next taking place on Sunday when we play away at Crystal Palace in the Continental Tyres League Cup.