The last of three international intervals within the space of three months drew to a close last night and Mark Bowen has all his squad back on home turf once more, working hard out on the training ground. But there were a couple more notable moments to celebrate for Royals players at the end of the two-week break from domestic action...
Monday 18th November 2019
On Friday, the draw for the Euro 2020 play-off qualifiers will take place and there will be one very interested Royal in George Puscas, watching proceedings to see who his Romania side will need to beat to reach this summer's tournament.
Our striker couldn't make an impact in Romania's final qualifier on Monday night as group-toppers Spain romped to a 5-0 victory courtesy of goals from Fabian Ruiz, Gerard Moreno (two), Mikel Oyarzabal and an Adrian Rus own goal in Group F.
Sweden earned automatic qualification with second place in that group and Romania ended the campaign in fourth place, but could still reach Euro 2020 via a play-off system; 16 teams will compete for the final four spots in the competition and Romania are one of those 16 teams based on their Nations League rankings.
Puscas is likely to come up against Bulgaria, Israel, Hungary or Iceland - but could also be pitted against Scotland, Norway or Serbia depending on a draw which is taking place this week.
International round-up | Jokull's big win, Yiadom's Ghana seal victory...18 November 2019
One of our young stars was also in action on Monday; defender Jeriel Dorsett had played the full ninety minutes in an England Under-18s win over Russia last week but had been rested for a 4-4 draw with Norway out in Spain at the weekend.
He was back in Ian Foster's starting eleven for 1-0 victory over Czech Republic, playing the full ninety minutes once more and keeping a clean sheet to end a series of games in Spain this month.
Noni Madueke’s first-half goal proved the difference between the sides and this squad remain unbeaten in their nine games so far this season as they head into 2020 and towards their next games in March.
Tuesday 19th November 2019
Chris Gunter's Wales will be going to Euro 2020 following a must-win victory over Hungary in Cardiff last night.
Gunter was an unused substitute but his good friend Aaron Ramsey came up with the goods against Hungary who needed a result themselves to remain in contention for automatic qualification - starting for the first time in this campaign, Ramsey headed in from Gareth Bale's first-half cross before scoring a second 90 seconds into the second half.
Next summer's European Championship will be Wales' second in succession - 2016's run to the semi-finals ended a 58-year-long wait for inclusion in a major international tournament.
Meanwhile, Danny Loader was in action for England, scoring in a 3-0 win over Iceland at Wycombe Wanderers' Adams Park to end the Under-20s' year in fine style.
Keith Downing’s Young Lions built on last week’s away win in Portgual and, goalless at the break, it was Loader who sparked England into life; a strong run down the right and a calm finish under the keeper saw the Royals striker open the scoring five minutes into the second half.
Yakou Meite came off the bench to replace Max Gradel in a bid to rescue the Ivory Coast in Ethiopia on Tuesday night, but the Royals striker couldn't help the Elephants recover from a surprise 2-1 defeat to their hosts.
Spurs defender Serge Aurier opened the scoring in just the third minute of the African Cup of Nations qualifier but the Ethiopians replied twice to take a lead into the break courtesy of goals from Surafel Dagachew and Shemeles Bekele in Bahir Dar.
Goalkeeper Joao Virginia was an unused substitue as Portugal's Under-21s edged past Norway in Drammen.
Wolves forward Diogo Jota was on the scoresheet for the Portuguese, who were coasting to a 3-0 victory before two late strikes made victory a little more nervy than necessary.
And our young stopper, Jokull Andresson played his third game for Iceland Under-19s in this international break - coming from behind to secure a 4-2 victory over Albania.
That victory helped the young Icelanders qualify for the next stage of the Euros, while Coniah Boyce-Clarke was an unused substitute for England's Under-17s - having played the full ninety and made some defiant saves in the Young Lions' defeat to Denmark at Alfreton Town last Friday.
Kevin Betsy's men bounced back with a 2-0 win over the Czech Republic; Manchester City’s Alex Robertson striking twice in the first half to set up victory in Solihull Moors.