A week to remember for some of our international players, with debut goals and maiden victories amongst the causes for celebration. But some disappointing performances and results for others complete a week of ups and downs for our squad. We've got a full report on all the Royals on international duty this week, as well as looking forward to their next games in October.
We'll start with arguably the best performance of the week - Alex Pearce made his international bow for the Republic of Ireland - he played for the Emerald Isle up to under-14s level, and made under-21 appearances for Scotland, but stated he always wanted to represent Ireland. He came on as a half-time substitute, and scored the last goal of Ireland's 4-1 win over Oman, powerfully diverting a header past Ali Al-Habsi. Ex-Reading strikers Shane Long and Kevin Doyle also scored for the Irish.
Over in America, Adrian Mariappa's Jamaica were taking on the USA twice this week, first home then away as part of their qualifying league for the 2014 World Cup. On Friday night, Mapps helped the Reggaeboyz to their first ever win over the North American giant, beating Jurgen Klinsmann's men 2-1. They couldn't repeat the feat in Ohio last night, though, as they fell 1-0. Mikele Leigertwood wasn't called up for Antigua & Barbuda's matches in the same qualifying group.
Kaspars Gorkss' Latvia were in qualifying action twice over the international break. Unfortunately their qualifying campaign got off to the worst possible start, losing firstly to Greece 2-1 then heavily away 4-1 to Bosnia. Gorkss did, however, give the red-white-red a shock early lead from a corner, before the class of Dzeko & co. told.
Worse news for Reading's most represented country in the international break. Wales started their World Cup qualifying campaign at home to Belgium, before a trip to Serbia. Both results were dismal for the Dragons, though, as they fell 2-0 at home before being thrashed 6-1 away. Chris Gunter played the full 90 in both matches, whilst Simon Church started both - Hal Robson-Kanu replaced him against Belgium, whilst the striker made it to the end of the rout in Serbia.
Another Welsh boy, Jake Taylor, captained the Dragons' U21's as they lost 5-0 away in the Czech Republic. Congrats on the captaincy Jake - let's hope he can make the step up to fully-fledged international before long.
The next international break is exactly a month away today, on 12th October.
- Wales (Gunter, Church, Robson-Kanu) will host Scotland before travelling to Croatia;
- Ireland (Pearce, Hunt) entertain Germany at the Aviva Stadium then play away in the Faroe Islands;
- Latvia (Gorkss) host Slovakia before travelling to fellow point-less side Liechtenstein;
- Jamaica's (Mariappa) final two matches of this qualifying round take place - firstly away to Guatemala, then at home to Antigua & Barbuda (Leigertwood) - whose first match is at home to the USA.
- Australia (Federici) travel to Doha, in Qatar, to play an away match against Iraq.
Good luck to all our players involved - we will of course have another report then!