Crucial World Cup week for Royals
There was plenty of action for the Royals international stars this past weekend, and plenty of success to boot.
Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu both featured for Wales in a 2-1 win over Scotland on Friday evening; Gunter played 90 minutes whilst Hal looked lively in a 20 minute cameo appearance. Simon Church was an unused substitute, as Garath Bale’s late brace cancelled out James Morrison’s first half strike.
Chris Coleman’s men now travel to Croatia for a fixture in Osijek on Tuesday evening.
It was a more frustrating round of matches for Reading’s central defensive partnership Kaspars Gorkss and Adrian Mariappa.
Gorkss was unable to prevent Latvia falling to a 2-1 defeat to an impressive Slovkian outfit – as goals from Marek Hamsik and Marek Sapara rendered Maris Verpakovskis’ late penalty irrelevant. Kaspars will hope to get his nation’s first points of the campaign when Latvia welcome Liechtenstein on Tuesday night.
Mariappa was forced to sit out Jamaica’s 2-1 defeat to Guatemala after a training ground collision, but could feature in a crucial clash with Antigua and Barbuda later this week.
Guatamala and the USA currently top Group A and face each other on Tuesday night in Kansas - both teams will advance at Jamaica’s expense with a draw. However if the Reggae Boyz can get all three points, then a win for either America or Guatemala would give Mariappa’s side a chance of progressing on goal difference. Mikele Leigertwood will not be part of the Antiguan squad, as he continues to recover from a slight knock.
Finally, in youth football – defensive duo Pierce Sweeney and Shane Griffin qualified for the Elite Round of the UEFA European Championships, both playing 90 minutes in Republic of Ireland Under 19s 1-0 win over Macedonia in Luxembourg.
They will now take on Germany to decide top spot in the group, though both teams are already guaranteed a place in the next round.
For news of Jem Karacan's Turkish call up click here