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Club News

Rakels back in attack for Latvia, but Portugal pick up points

Defeat for the hosts in Riga

10 June 2017

Royals forward Deniss Rakels was a second-half substitute for Latvia on Friday evenng, but he was powerless to prevent a 3-0 defeat to a Cristiano Ronaldo inspired Portugal.

Four-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo, playing in his first game since netting twice in a Champions League final win for Real Madrid, was at it again for his country, and found the net either side of half-time in Riga.

Rakels was introduced in place of Davis Ikaunieks shortly after the third and final goal was scored by Porto prodigy Andre Silva, allowing the Royals man to play the final quarter of the game.  Former Reading defender Kaspars Gorkss was also involved, playing the duration.

It was Rakels' second appearance of the season for his country, after suffering an ankle injury at the start of our 2016/17 campaign which has blighted his season.

That result keeps European Champions Portugal in the hunt for automatic qualification for the 2018 World Cup; for Latvia, who are under a third tenure of Aleksandrs Starkovs after head coach Marians Pahars stepped down in March, it sent them to the bottom of Group B.

Remarkably, Andorra overtook them by claiming an almighty scalp by beating Hungary the same evening...just their second ever competitive victory as a nation, and their first since beating Macedonia back in 2004.

Club News

Southwood is off to the World Cup!

8 May 2017

More intenational action follows for Reading players; Adrian Popa and Romania face Poland on Saturday, while Chris Gunter's Wales meet Serbia and Anssi Jaakkola's Finland face Ukraine, both on Sunday.

Sunday also marks the final of the Under-20 World Cup, where young Royals goalkeeper Luke Southwood has been part of the squad which has booked a date with Venezuela for the title.

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