A mixture of youth and experience took to the field on Friday as Reading U23s took on Bayern Munich II in a hotly contested cup tie.
- Tarnat opens the scoring for the visitors after 12 minutes
- Reading go close through Ilori and Barrett in second period
- Bayern hold on for three points against Royals
A cagey start to proceedings saw both sides jostle for supremacy in midfield, with the Royals unable to keep the ball for extended periods in the opening exchanges.
As the Royals began to find their feet in the game, they began to apply pressure of their own, with Tyler Blackett and Omar Richards combining on the left to play Danny Loader through, but the ball was shepherded back to Bayern goalkeeper, Weinkauf.
However, the visitors took the lead with 11 minutes played. Maxime Awoudja drove into plenty of space in midfield, put in a through-ball for Niklas Tarnat, who duly slotted home from 12 yards.
The Royals could have got on level terms within two minutes of going behind, with Barrett breaking forward and playing across the line for Pelle Clement to shoot first-time. His effort was bending towards goal, but it went just wide of the far post.
This was followed soon after with young midfielder Jordan Holsgrove breaking on the right hand side, who received the ball back from Popa before dragging his left-footed effort wide.
Scott Marshall's side kept up the pressure going forward, Barrett cutting in on his right foot and letting fly, but well gathered by Weinkauf at his right hand post.
Omar Richards won the ball in his own box, before playing to Popa and sprinting forward to get the ball back in the Bayern area, with his curling effort headed off the line.
Anssi Jaakkola was called into action with two saves in quick succession, first denying Mario Crnicki from close range and then pushing Dorsch's edge-of-the-area drive around the post.
Half time | Reading U23 0-1 Bayern Munich II
The Royals started the second period positively, and had the ball in the net early on through Danny Loader's tap-in, but Popa was flagged offside in the build-up.
Our U23s almost equalised again after Popa lofted to the back post for Clement, his effort was blocked on the line before East's follow-up was well-saved by a sprawling Weinkauf.
The visitors found their chances limited in the second half as they held onto their single-goal advantage, Holsgrove winning the ball on the left for the Royals and playing in Barrett to cross, but it missed a hooped shirt in a dangerous area.
Tiago Ilori also went close for the Royals, latching onto a Holsgrove free-kick but his header landed on the roof of the Bayern net.
The German visitors aimed to make the result more secure in the final minutes of the 90, pushing higher up the pitch but came up against some resolute Royals defending.
Unfortunately for Scott Marshall's side, it wasn't to be on the night against top European opposition.
Full time | Reading U23 0-1 Bayern Munich II
Reading U23: Jaakkola, Sheppard, Ilori, Richards, Blackett (Holmes 70), Holsgrove, Clement, East, Popa, Barrett, Loader.
Subs: Legg, Holmes, Medford-Smith, Rollinson, Nolan.
Bayern Munich II: Weinkauf, Turkkalesi (Gotze 60), Mayer, Tarnat, Pantovic (Zylla 46), Crnicki, Awoudja, Obermair, Isherwood, Dorsch, Benko (Shabani 46).
Subs: Rossl, Gotze, Zylla, Shabani.
Goals: Tarnat 12