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Reading FC Internationals Report: November 2014

The Royals Abroad rose like shooting stars in their October internationals. This November, however, saw some of our comets come crashing back down to earth, while others held out to make a successful landing, if only for a bounce or two.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Starting with the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Hope Akpan's excellent start to his international career took a turn for the worst during a 2-0 win over Congo. The midfielder dislocated his shoulder in the 51st minute, left the pitch in tears, and is out for three months. Furthermore, a draw with South Africa means that holders Nigeria will not be at the 2015 tournament- now due to be held in Equatorial Guinea. Going 2-0 down at home to Bafana Bafana, Hull's Sone Aluko levelled late on and yet Nigeria missed out on the best-third-placed qualifying spot due to DR Congo's win over Sudan.

Hope has also spoken about his international decision to represent Nigeria, in an interview with Supersport.

Oliver Norwood was part of a Northern Ireland side that lost 2-0 to Romania to end their 100% start to their Euro 2016 Qualifying Campaign. Michael O'Neill's side sit 2nd in Group F ahead of a tie against Finland in Belfast next March.
Broaden your horizons with some Romanian commentary in the highlights, below.

Alex Pearce was on the bench for Republic of Ireland's loss in Scotland for their vital Euro 2016 Qualifier. However, the big centre-back started a 4-1 friendly win over a USA side devoid of Danny Williams. In the highlights below, Pearce looks a bit lost as USA equalise in the first-half, losing his man, but his colleagues hardly cover themselves in glory, either.

Simon Cox and Stephen Kelly made the preliminary squad, but Martin O'Neill opted against bringing them to the full squad on this occasion- with their next opportunity the important qualifier against Poland in March. With Germany and Scotland playing lesser sides, it is a must win for the Irish if they want to keep 2nd spot in Group D.

The tendency for Chris Gunter and Hal Robson-Kanu to have storming games for Gareth Bale FC Wales then flounder for Reading has become a nuisance in recent months. Arguably, this trend continued as Gunter held off Chelsea star Eden Hazard to gain a clean sheet and man-of-the-match performance in a promising draw away to Belgium. HRK played out on the left-flank and Jake Taylor spent the 90 minutes on Gareth Bale's Wales's bench, a positive experience for the midfielder. Highlights are below. A crunch match away to Group B leaders Israel awaits Gareth Bale's Chris Coleman's high-flyers in March.

YOUTHS:

Looking at the academy prospects and youngsters of Reading FC involved in the international break, we start with Ryan Edwards. The winger appeared in a four-nation tournament in China and celebrated his 21st birthday six days after mine *insert failed life comment here*.

The Olyroos stole a late draw with Brazil, beat Korea 1-0 and lost 3-1 to hosts China. The tournament was in preparation for the U22 AFC Championship, that doubles as a qualifier for the 2016 Olympics football tournament.

Scotland U21 drew 1-1 in a friendly with Switzerland; Jon Henly, Dom Hyam & Harry Cardwell came off the bench in Tuesday's match. The Scots, however, had already failed to qualify the the European Championship in the summer.

American U20 striker Andrija Novakovich netted against Russia in a 4-3 win (below at 1:15), before a late sub appearance during the Stars & Stripes' 1-0 defeat to Canada. In between which, Novakovich came off the bench in a 1-0 win over Shane Griffin's Republic of Ireland U21's. Griffin also got 90 minutes during Tuesday's 2-2 draw with Russia.

Novakovich has been receiving high praise from the US fans, what did you make of his goal? Comment below.