Hawa Cissoko could not hide her delight after West Ham United women’s team’s fantastic 2-1 Barclays Women's Super League victory over Arsenal on Sunday.
The France international netted what would prove to be the winner in a brilliant team performance at Chigwell Construction Stadium, as Rehanne Skinner’s team picked up their first ever victory against the Gunners.
Cissoko struck after her fellow countrywoman Viviane Asseyi had drawn the Hammers level from the penalty spot, hooking into the roof of the net from 18 yards and sparking wild celebrations on the pitch and in the stands.
Having fought back to lead after Alessia Russo had given Arsenal a half-time lead, the hosts held on to defeat the 15-times champions of England for the very first time and make it back-to-back WSL wins following a vital victory over bottom side Bristol City a week previously.
Speaking with a broad smile on her face, the popular defender reflected on the performance from the team and a brilliant victory with West Ham TV...
I’m still excited and buzzing!
I have a lot of cramp everywhere and am in a lot of pain but I’m just so happy and proud of the girls.
I just love everyone, the way we fight till the end, and everyone was together. Even when they scored the first goal, nobody dropped. I’m just so happy!
We’re all so proud, Arsenal are a big team.
They’re one of the best in the world, and while we haven’t ever beaten them before, we’ve always given them good games from what I can remember, it’s always hard for them to win.
Some people might say that we didn’t deserve to win today because we defended for long periods but, at the end of the day, we scored more goals than them and we have to be proud of what we produced.
The resilience is just proof of the way that we work together, and that we’re moving in the right direction.
It’s in this kind of game sometimes, I just don’t know who I think I am!
I scored against Tottenham last season, and now today against Arsenal. I scored with my left foot, and I didn’t even think about it when the ball came over to me.
We worked on the set-pieces, and I was supposed to make that run, and the opposition just didn’t care about me, so they didn’t follow my run.
The powerhouse that is Hawa Cissoko 👊 https://t.co/9bnOGngfUN— West Ham United Women (@westhamwomen) February 4, 2024
People can’t see the work that we as a group have put in with Rehanne Skinner.
It’s a big that we’ve been able to make it back-to-back wins. We’ve worked so hard, but people haven’t got the results that we wanted.
We as players all know that we’ve all grown, we’ve all improved the small details. For example, when the ball comes down, I fall less and stuff like that. Everyone is improving and today was proof of that. It’s good for us a players, as well as Rehanne and her coaching team.
We just have to stay consistent now.
Before the game, nobody was stressing, and everyone was ready. That’s the best way to go into a game.
Players were confident and that allowed us to play. We have to keep doing this as we keep moving through the rest of the season.