The European highs and lows involving the likes of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson, Chris Gunter and Dave Edwards were well documented - but while qualifying campaigns met crunch time, another Royals star was playing and scoring for his country in an international friendly!
Leandro Bacuna curled home a sublime set piece to earn his native Curacao a 2-1 win over Qatar in a friendly match played at the Jassim Bin Hamad Stadium earlier this week.
Hassan Al Haidous had given Qatar the lead in the 28th minute, the skipper making space for himself in front of a crowded penalty area and rifling his low shot into the left bottom corner of Curacao goal.
But 86th ranked Curacao, just one place below their hosts, equalised in the 36th minute from a free kick after Ahmed Maksoud had fouled Quinten Martinus just outside the area.
The Lesser Antilles island country struck back through Bacuna's pinpoint free kick which went in off the woodwork and it was Curacao who took the lead.
Martinus picked out Ayrton Statie’s run on the left flank with a perfect pass from the centre circle and the left back in turn found substitute Elson Hooi, who beat Qatar goalkeeper Omar Barry with his placement.
And Bacuna's Curacao had defeated a Qatar side who had seen off the threat of Singapore in a 3-1 friendly win earlier in the break.