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Reading FC International Report- March 6th

A nice little break for some players this week, as trips around the world were made to spend time with various national teams for some friendly action.

Stu Forster

Let’s start with some good news from an in-form winger, as Jamaican Garath McCleary scored the 3rd goal in a 5-0 rout for the Reggae Boyz against St. Lucia. That was his first international goal, in a comfortable win for Jamaica at St. Lucia's Beausejour Cricket Ground. Jobi Mcanuff was injured for this game, who used a team of Jamica-based players for a 2-0 win away to Barbados on Monday.

Across the Atlantic to Cardiff and we see another victory for Reading players, this time Hal Robson-Kanu and Chris Gunter started for Wales in a 3-1 win over Iceland. Gunter continued his dominance of his country’s right-back slot and played the full game. Robson-Kanu was deployed on the opposite wing to Gareth Bale and was in amongst the action before his 88th minute substitution.

Republic of Ireland meanwhile suffered a 2-1 defeat to Serbia, despite leading through ex-Royal Shane Long. Neither Reading player Stephen Kelly or Alex Pearce came onto the pitch, but being in Martin O’Neill’s thoughts at this stage is important enough ahead of some pre-World Cup friendlies and Euro 2014 Qualifiers in September.

One player who can look to the World Cup with hope is Danny Williams, who appeared for the USA after a year absence, as coach Jurgen Klinsmann looked at his European-based options. Sadly for such options, a 2-0 loss to Ukraine in Cyprus was the result, with Williams getting the final 10 minutes in centre midfield. Having earned his first cap under Klinsmann in 2011, Williams is clearly in his thoughts, but not starting this game and playing in the Championship won’t do him any favours for Brazil.

Kaspars Gorkss was awarded another cap for Latvia, getting caught at the near-post for the first goal of a 2-1 defeat in FYR Macedonia, despite a brilliantly comical own-goal that equalised for Latvia. Check it out below (about 45 seconds in).

YOUTHS:

Let’s cover the active youth internationals first, Liam Kelly playing the majority of the Republic of Ireland Under-19s defeat to Romania, 2-1.
Sammi Fridjonsson impressed for Iceland U19s against Sweden, scoring in a 3-0 win, a rematch-of-sorts take place on Thursday when the teams meet again.
Estonian Under 21 international Bogdan Vastsuk endured 74 minutes and a booking in an 8-0 defeat to Denmark.

Pierce Sweeney, the Under-19 Irish national player of the year, was on the bench for the U21s defeat to Montonegro.The same fate befell Jon Henly as his Scottish U21 side drew 2-2 with Hungary.

Scots George McLennan (U19s) and Jake Sheppard (U17s) were fellow Reading academy players called up for internationals. The U19s beat Switzerland 4-2.

Finally, Northern Irish youth Lewis Collins joined the U19 squad who lost to Switzerland 3-0 before a rematch in Dungannon on Thursday.