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Internationals: Vital wins for Royals in World Cup qualifying

Royals still gunning for World Cup places...

6 September 2017

The latest round of international matches saw Royal representatives gain some much-needed points in the hunt for a place at next year's World Cup.

Jón Daði Böðvarsson started for his native Iceland as they kept pace with the top of their group with a crucial 2-0 win against fellow high flyers Ukraine.

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Former Royal Gylfi Sigurðsson scored both goals on the night, as the fight to qualify from Group I looks set to go down to the wire in the final two matches. 

Iceland currently sit second on goal difference behind Croatia, but with Turkey and Ukraine just two points behind, it is anyone's guess as to who will qualify.

Only the team that finishes top of their qualifying group will enter into the World Cup automatically. The top eight of the nine second-placed teams will enter into the two-legged play-offs for the four remaining qualifying spots.

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Chris Gunter, Dave Edwards and Wales made it six points out of six for their weekend's work, with Gunter starting and Edwards coming off the bench as they gained another vital victory against Moldova.

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn came off the bench to assist another former Royal, Hal Robson-Kanu, to break the deadlock 10 minutes from time before Aaron Ramsey made sure of the result near to the final whistle. 

This result sees Wales leapfrog the Republic of Ireland into second place in Group D, four points behind leaders Serbia with two matches to go. Wales are set to face Ireland in the final round of qualifying matches in October, which could well be the decider for who qualifies between the two.

Elsewhere, goalkeeper Anssi Jaakkola and winger Adrian Popa were unused substitutes as Finland and Romania played their latest round of qualifying fixtures. Unfortunately, both countries are now out of the running to qualify for the World Cup this time.

The players will now report back to Hogwood for training ahead of Saturday's return to league action, at home to Bristol City. Kick-off at Madejski Stadium will be at 3pm!


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