Kermorgant steps up to put Reading one game from glory

Jessica Allison
May 17, 2017

The turning point of the tie came only four minutes after the restart when Kalas moved his hand to the ball under pressure from Kermorgant and referee Martin Atkinson was given little choice other than to award the penalty, which the Frenchman tucked away in confident manner.

Royals have nearly sold out all 24,000 tickets for the mouthwatering semi-final second leg after the first leg at Craven Cottage ended 1-1 on Saturday.

The powerful striker was tussling with his man when the ball caught Cottagers' defender Tomas Kalas on the arm.

Reading also needed a big performance from goalkeeper Ali Al Habsi, who made a stunning double save in the first half from Tom Cairney's free kick and Sone Aluko's follow-up, and Jokanovic thought his team had played the more attractive football.

They will have the chance to return to the Premier League after a four-season absence when they face the victor of Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield Town.

Reading will face Sheffield Wednesday or Huddersfield in the Championship play-off final after Yann Kermorgant's penalty saw off Fulham.

Fulham went into the match on the back of a seven-game unbeaten run and began to show the confidence and style that won them plenty of admirers this season.

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Two people were reportedly injured, one of them being the policeman who was taken to the hospital and is in moderate condition. He is due to travel to the Middle East this month and meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on May 22-23.


Reading, buoyed by a fervent home support, started the brighter of the two sides and almost took the lead in the 13th minute when Yann Kermorgant saw his low drive tipped wide by Marcus Bettinelli.

With Reading clinging on for the final 20 minutes, Al Habsi pulled off an even better stop to tip Kevin McDonald's drive over the crossbar.

And somehow Reading failed to add a second when Chris Gunter crossed and John Swift shot straight at Bettinelli from just three yards out, when it seemed easier to score.

Reading boss Jaap Stam: "We trained on penalties yesterday and Yann was the only one who scored!" We played very well in the first half in general, going forward and on the ball as well at times. That's what we've done in several occasions throughout the season when we've played over here.

Stam admitted he feels the tension of a semi-final as a manager far more than he ever did as a player.

"It's a great game, we try, we create many chances". It's important to understand many important steps after last season. We knew it would be from the start.

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