- 2nd Half
- Kermorgant (P)49'
- 1st Half
Reading - Fulham
Championship - 16 May 2017
Championship – Follow the Football match between Reading and Fulham live with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:45 on 16 May 2017. Our live coverage lets you follow all the key moments as they happen.
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- End of 2nd Half
FULL-TIME: Yann Kermogant's second-half penalty is enough for Reading to overcome Fulham in the Sky Bet Championship playoff semi-finals.
Wembley is calling for the Royals where they will meet either Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday. They win 1-0 on the night and 2-1 on aggregate.
Reading deal with the initial corner but the visitors work it back into the penalty area where Martin heads well wide! That should be it...
Reading can only force it out for another corner. Cairney to take. Nail-biting times for all involved.
But Fredericks wins Fulham a corner! The goalkeeper Bettinelli is coming forward for this one!
The home support are in fine voice now. Their side are on the brink of Wembley after a hard fought semi-final tie.
There will be FIVE minutes of added time to play!
- OffYann KermorgantReading
- OnJoseph MendesReading
A rousing reception for goalcorer Kermorgant who is replaced by Mendes for the last couple of minutes.
Fulham win their THIRTEENTH corner of the night... but it's a disappointing delivery and Reading will take their time taking the goal-kick.
The hosts have every player camped inside their own half. Fulham are desperate to create one more opportunity, but will they take it?
If the scores remain the same, Reading will face either Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday at Wembley for a prize of £170m and Premier League football on Monday, May 29.
Into the final 10 minutes. Have Fulham anything left or will the Royals hang on and secure a place in the playoff final at Wembley?
A break in play as Al-Habsi receives some attention. The Reading goalkeeper came out the worst after a collision with Martin. But he'll be OK.
Aluko dances his way past a Reading defender on the wing and then tees up McDonald for a shot 12 yards out but Al-Habsi does brilliantly to get a fingertip to the effort.
- OffJohn SwiftReading
- OnLiam KellyReading
Liam Kelly replaces Evans as the Royals go even more defensive in a bid to hold onto this lead.
- OffScott MaloneFulham
- OnChris MartinFulham
Final roll of the dice for Fulham as they make their final change in personnel. Chris Martin comes on for Malone.
But Fulham keep coming forward and are throwing multiple bodies forward in search of an equaliser. Johansen forces a corner but Reading clear for the umpteenth time.
Time is running out for Fulham as they squander another opportunity. Aluko is found with some space on the left-hand side of the penalty area, but he gets underneath the ball and spoons it over the bar.
Reading launch a rapid counter attack. Kermorgant releases Williams who can't get a proper connection on the ball. The rebound falls to Kermorgant but he curls his effort over the bar!
Piazon breaks into the Reading penalty area and tries to check inside, but he's brought down. Half-hearted appeals are waved away by Martin Atkinson.
Sessegnon, the 16-year-old who has scored SEVEN times this season from full-back, finds space for a shot but his half-volley is never troubling Al-Habsi in the Reading goal.
- OffTyler BlackettReading
- OnGarath McClearyReading
Garath McCleary takes the place of Blackett in the home side's defence.
- Yellow cardScott MaloneFulham
Malone is booked for dissent after Martin Atkinson ignored his appeals for a foul.
A glorious opportunity for the visitors, but Reading survive! Fredericks gets down the right channel and cuts it back for Piazon whose goalbound shot is brilliantly deflected narrowly wide by Moore and out for a corner.
Here is the pivotal moment...
'Come on Fulham' is the chant as the visitors win a corner. It's cleared by the goalscorer Kemorgant who is now having quite the evening.
- Yellow cardStefan JohansenFulham
Johansen goes into the book for foulling Williams.
- OffFloyd AyitéFulham
- OnRyan SessegnonFulham
DOUBLE FULHAM SUB
Ryan Sessegnon replaces Kebano and Lucas Piazon takes the place of Ayite.
Fulham win a corner as they seek an immediate equaliser... but Ream heads wide of the target.
But how did he miss? Gunter fizzes a ball across the face of goal to leave Swift with a simple tap-in from a few yards out... but he sends it straight into the arms of the Fulham goalkeeper.
22,044, including 1,996 away fans.
- Yellow cardLiam MooreReading
The referee is getting busy now. He issues a booking to Moore for a foul on Aluko.
- Yellow cardYann KermorgantReading
Things are heating up at the Madejski Stadium as the goalscorer Kermogant commits a foul halfway.
The Reading supporters are bouncing now. Their side are ahead, despite being second best in this contest thus far.
A replay shows the incident back, and Martin Atkinson has got the decision spot on - Kalas moved his arm to the ball.
- Goal by penaltyYann KermorgantReading
GOAL - KERMOGANT GIVES READING THE LEAD!
The goalkeeper dives the right way, but Kermogant lifts the ball over him and the hosts are in front.
PENALTY TO READING!
The ball appears to strike the hand of Kalas inside the Fulham box and the Reading players immediately appeal for a penalty! Martin Atkinson takes a moment to think about it, and then points to the spot!
Reading make a rapid start and almost take the lead! Kermorgant gets down the right and curls in a cross which finds the head of Grabban but Bettinelli gets down well to make the save.
- 2nd Half
Right, we're back for the second-half. Fulham get us underway. Which side will take the initiative and fire themselves to Wembley?
We're all square at the break, then. Fulham have shaded the first-half and would be ahead only for a terrific double-save from Al-Habsi to deny Cairney and then Aluko. Much more drama to come after the restart!
- End of 1st Half
HALF-TIME: Reading 0-0 Fulham. (1-1 on aggregate).
One minute of added time to play at the end of the first-half.
This is the moment Fulham almost grabbed a crucial lead.
The cross doesn't come to anything and Reading's frustrations continue.
Better from Reading. They play a number of passes deep inside the visitors' box before Swift delivers a cross, but Malone makes a vital headed interception. Corner to follow...
Reading boss Jaap Stam is rather animated on the touchline. He must be feeling rather anxious at the moment. His team have been second best in the first period.
- Yellow cardKevin McDonaldFulham
McDonald bundles Williams to the ground and is issued with the first booking of the match.
A rapid counter-attack from Reading gives Fulham a fright but they survive. A long ball is played to Swift who sees his pass blocked and the loose ball falls kindly to Grabban who slices his effort well wide.
And now Malone over-hits his cross from the left. He had plenty of Fulham team mates queuing up in the box.
Another chance for Fulham goes begging! Kebano is allowed to get to the byline. He cuts the ball back for Aluko who slips at the vital moment and the ball loops over the top of the Reading goal.
A cross is played into the feet of Grabban with his back to goal, inside the Fulham box. But he does well to turn and finds space for a shot which is straight into the arms of Bettinelli.
Fulham stretch the home defence once again and Ilori is forced to put it out for a corner. The delivery comes into the Reading penalty area but Ayita slices his effort wide at the back post.
Cairney curls the ball over the wall and the ball is destined for the top corner until Al-Habsi somehow claws it off the line with a one-handed save.
Aluko shoots from the loose ball but the veteran quick to his feet and makes a superb second stop
Fulham have a free-kick in a dangerous area, around 25 yards from goal, after Blackett fouled Fredricks.
Reading go direct in a bid to catch out the visiting defence but Ream is alert to the danger and gets just enough on his header to nod it back to his goalkeeper.
Patient football from Fulham. They eventually work the ball wide to Malone who is providing his set an outlet on the channel. He swings in a delivery but the cross evades all of his team mates and Reading clear.
After his first leg goal at Craven Cottage, no Championship midfielder has been involved in more goals this season (including play-offs) than Tom Cairney (23 - 13 goals, 10 assists).
Fulham are enjoying a spell of dominance now. Fredericks does well to find space down the right channel and delivers a looping cross to the back post. Al-Habsi isn't getting near it but Gunter spares his goalkeeper's blushes by heading the ball clear.
Fredericks weaves his way through the Reading box before striking a low shot at goal which veteran goalkeeper Al-Habsi does well to push onto the post before gathering on the second attempt.
Over a quarter of an hour has been played and it's fair to say the game hasn't really ignited just yet. Long way to go though.
Now Kermogant wins a high ball as he forces Kalas off the ball. The referee gives the visitors the free-kick, but the home fans aren't too happy.
Kermorgant is teed up inside the Fulham box and fires a shot at goal.. but Bettinelli is down quickly to parry the ball out for a corner.
Fulham have lost both previous away games in the play-offs without netting a single goal - 0-1 v Bristol Rovers (1989) and 0-1 v Grimsby Town (1998).
Fulham win two successive corners with Johansen swinging in the deliveries but Reading's defence deal with the danger quite easily.
Fulham beginning to settle as they work the ball into the Reading half for the first time. Malone sends a dangerous ball across the face of goal, but the hosts knock it clear.
The home side continue to probe around the edge of Fulham box but again the visitors stand firm as a two successive crosses are sent into the danger area.
Reading are unbeaten in their past four home matches against Fulham (W2 D2) in all competitions.
The corner comes to little and Fulham will be relieved about that. You'd imagine the visitors will be looking to keep it tight at the back, particularly in the opening stages.
Tremendous support from the home support at kick-off and they're further encouraged as Reading win an early corner.
- 1st Half
KICK-OFF: It's Reading, the hosts, who get us underway.
Only five minutes until kick-off now and the atmosphere is building within the Madejski Stadium on a vital night for both clubs. Remember, away goals DO NOT count in the playoffs, and there's every chance this game could go all the way to extra-time and penalties.
You've got to love the playoffs.
Fulham manager, Slavisa Jokanovic:
"I'm an optimist, I believe in my players and they believe in themselves and they've shown in the first leg that they play with confidence.
"Reading put us in a complicated situation (in the first leg) and we didn't find enough space for our combinations and we didn't move the ball with enough pace.
"But I believe we will show our personality as a team in the return leg.
"I'm not scared about the situation, that's football and yes there's potential for a penalty shoot-out, but there's one game in front of us and that's all."
Their opponents may have a formidable home record, but Fulham have been rather quite impressive on their travels. In fact, the Cottagers have the second best away record in the Championship, only bettered by champions Newcastle.
The Royals rode their luck at times in the first-leg, but held on to claim a vital draw despite having a man sent-off.
Jaap Stam, Reading manager: "Everyone's excited for the second leg, but there's still a game to play against a very good side, even though you've got home advantage.
"We need to be aware of that and they need to score. It's going to be a very interesting game with two very good teams playing against each other, so let's just wait and see what's going to happen."
Reading finished the season in third, boasting the second best home record in the Championship, losing only two games. The Royals will hope to repeat their 1-0 victory over Fulham in January.
The visitors make only one change with Chris Martin dropping to the bench in place of Neeskens Kebano, who enjoyed a productive cameo in the first leg.
Reading make two changes from the side which earned a 1-1 draw in the first-leg with Joey van der Berg and Tiago Ilori replacing the injured Jonathan Obita and Paul McShane who was sent off at Fulham.
FULHAM TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Malone, McDonald, Johansen, Kebano, Cairney, Ayite, Aluko.
Subs: Button, Parker, Sessegnon, Odoi, Piazon, Martin, Cyriac.
READING TEAM NEWS
Starting XI: Al-Habsi, Gunter (c), Blackett, Ilori, Moore, Van den Berg, Evans, Williams, Swift, Grabban, Kermorgant.
Subs: Jaakkola, Beerens, Mendes, McCleary, Popa, Gravenberch, Kelly.
Good evening and welcome to Eurosport's LIVE text commentary of the Championship playoff second leg between Reading and Fulham.
Having held Slavisa Jokanovic's side to a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage, the Royals hold a slight advantage, but they'll have to be at their best to overcome the visiting side who boast the second best away record in the Championship.
It's beautifully poised.