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Reading FC International Report: March 29

How did Reading's international contingent get on with their countries' teams? Jacob rounds it all up for you.

Denmark v England: U21 International Friendly Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images

With club football taking a break for the week, there were a number of Jaap Stam's men in action for their countries in a week of mixed fortunes for the Royals.

John Swift

It has been a fantastic week for Swift who got some minutes for England Under 21s whilst also being nominated for the EFL Young Player of the Year award. Swift was a late substitute for Aidy Boothroyd's side against Germany, replacing Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Harry Winks.

He then played the full 90 minutes in a convincing 4-0 win over Denmark in Randers in a good performance from Swift who looked comfortable on the ball throughout the game. Goals from Solly March, Cauley Woodrow and a brace from Ruben Loftus-Cheek gave England the morale-boosting win.

Chris Gunter

The right back went level with Craig Bellamy on 78 international caps when he played the full 90 minutes against the Republic of Ireland in a game that was overshadowed by a horrific leg break to Everton's Seamus Coleman.

The result leaves Wales slightly off the pace as they remain four points behind Ireland and Serbia who are leading the group.

Deniss Rakels

The Latvian forward continues his comeback from injury, although it remains to be seen if he is part of Jaap Stam's plans this season as he is yet to feature for Reading since the broken ankle he suffered early in the season.

Rakels was a 69th minute substitute for Latvia but was unable to make an impact as they fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat away to Switzerland. Any hope that Latvia had of qualifying seems to have diminished now as they are 12 points off Switzerland at the half way stage of qualifying.

He also got a further 45 minutes of action but Latvia were thumped by Georgia 5-0 in a friendly on Tuesday evening.

Ali Al-Habsi

Reading's in-form shot stopper was hardly troubled during his international break with Oman. Al-Habsi and his team mates ran riot as they thrashed Bhutan 14-0. The win gives Oman the perfect start to their 2019 Asian Cup qualifying campaign where they will also face Palestine and The Maldives on their quest for a place in the finals.

Liam Kelly

Reading's Irish youngster received a call up to the 39 man Republic Of Ireland senior squad for the games against Wales and Iceland but didn't feature at all for Ireland (due to injury) who had a disappointing international break as they were held by 10 men Wales to a goalless draw and fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Iceland in a friendly on Tuesday evening.

Paul McShane

The Royals’ captain, like Kelly, was also called up to the original Republic Of Ireland squad for the two games they had over the international break, but he also had to withdraw from the squad through injury. However, McShane is expected to be fit for the crunch game against Leeds this Saturday evening at the Madejski Stadium according to Jaap Stam in a press conference today.

Reece Oxford

Even though England Under 19s had already secured a place at the European Championships in Georgia next summer, they were keen to wrap up the qualifying campaign on a positive note. They did just that as Oxford played over an hour against Belarus in a convincing 5-1 win.

He also featured against Norway for half an hour in a 3-0 win. Oxford will be looking to force his way into the starting 11 as it has been well publicized that West Ham manager Slaven Bilic is unhappy at the lack of game time Oxford is getting in Berkshire.

I'm giving all my love 2 the game ⚽️

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Luke Southwood

The England Under 20s goalkeeper had to watch from the bench for England as they picked up a win and a draw against France and Portugal respectively. Southwood then played the final game of the Four Nations and kept a clean sheet as England ran out 2-0 winners against Senegal.

Southwood made some smart saves shortly before half time and they proved pivotal as goals from Dominic Calver-Lewin and Dominic Solanke gave England the all-important win.

Danny Loader

Promising striker Danny Loader got some game time for the England Under 17's as they won all three of their games over the international break. Loader played the full 90 minutes against Bosnia and Herzegovina, where England won 1-0.

He was also a 69th minute substitute as England won 5-3 against Czech Republic in an action-packed game. Loader was however on the scoresheet against Slovenia in a routine 4-0 win.

Adrian Popa

The Romanian winger, who netted his first goal for the club against Sheffield Wednesday, was an unused substitute against Denmark, a game in which they drew 0-0. The result means that Romania sit in 4th position in a very closely fought group where one point separates 5th place from 2nd.

Popa will be looking to get more minutes under his belt with Reading so that he can force his way into the international set up. Romania face table-toppers Poland in their next qualifying game in June.

Axel Andresson

The Icelandic Under 21 international who is currently on loan at Bath City scored in a thrilling 4-4 draw with Georgia in a friendly.


That rounds up this week's Reading player's in action for their countries as we look for the players to bring their good form to the Madejski on Saturday evening for a tough game against Leeds United.