Royals duo edging close to qualification for France 2016Reading pair Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu are on the brink of making international history by helping Wales to qualify for the European Championships for the very first time.
A 0-0 draw with Israel at Cardiff City Stadium in the Sunday afternoon kick-off wasn’t quite enough to secure a place in the finals tournament this weekend – if Belgium had failed to beat Cyprus in the later game, it would have secured their trip to the tournament, but Eden Hazard struck five minutes from time to win it for the Belgians in Nicosia. But now Wales need just a single point from their final two games – which are a trip to Bosnia-Herzegovina and a home game against Andorra, who have lost all of their qualifiers so far.
It stands to be only the second time that Wales will have qualified for a major international tournament in history – the 1958 World Cup in Sweden, 58 years previous, the only other instance. And now Wales can almost begin their preparations for the trip to France in 2016.
With five wins, three draws and no defeats in Group B of the qualifying tournament, Wales lead the way with two games remaining ahead of heavyweights Belgium, and are almost guaranteed a top-two finish as a minimum.
Defender Gunter has played every minute of the qualifying campaign to date, which has included six clean-sheets and merely two goals conceded in the eight fixtures (neither from open play) – including a 0-0 draw in Belgium and a 1-0 victory in the reverse fixture in Cardiff. Forward Robson-Kanu has also been heavily involved, starting six games and making one sub appearance, and netted Wales’ all-important second goal in a 2-1 win against Cyprus.
The final two games of Wales’ Euro 2016 qualifiers take place in October. Several more Reading players still have international action ahead of them over the current break – click here for a full overview of the Royals’ involvement on the international stage.