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Gunter and Edwards help Wales to crucial victory

Reading players still hoping to help their nations to World Cup qualification

3 September 2017

With five senior Royals in international action on Friday and Saturday, there is still plenty to play for in the battle to qualify for next summer's World Cup.

The qualification hopes of the majority of nations are still hanging in the balance with three matches to go, with another crucial round of fixtures coming in the next 48 hours.

First up on Friday night was Adrian Popa and his Romania side, who kept their slim hopes of qualification alive with a stoppage-time winner against the 10 men of Armenia.

Popa came on as a substitute in that match, and will be pushing for a start when his country takes on Montenegro to try and bring themselves into qualification contention from Group E.

There was a vital victory for Chris Gunter and Dave Edwards while on Wales duty. Both Royals started the match to win their 80th and 40th caps respectively, with 17-year-old sensation Ben Woodburn striking on his international debut to give Wales a 1-0 victory over Austria.

Chris Coleman's side remain unbeaten throughout the qualifying campaign, and move to within four points of the top of Group D.

Two Royals faced off in Tampere, with Anssi Jaakkola and Finland taking a 1-0 victory over Jón Daði Böðvarsson and his Iceland side.

Böðvarsson came off the bench to try and force an equaliser late on, but it wasn't to be as Iceland missed the chance to go top of Group I. They remain one point off Ukraine at the top of the group, though, with the two sides facing off on Tuesday night for supremacy in the group.

Unfortunately for Jaakkola and Finland, qualification is mathematically impossible but they will be playing for pride in their remaining matches.

Next up for our Royals on international duty:

Moldova vs Wales, Tuesday 5th September, Stadionul Zimbru, Chisinau
Montenegro vs Romania, Monday 4th September, Stadion Pod Goricom, Podgorica
Kosovo vs Finland, Tuesday 5th September, Stadiumi Loro Boriçi, Shkodër
Iceland vs Ukraine, Tuesday 5th September, Laugardalsvöllur, Reykjavík

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