Published: Wed, May 17, 2017
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Yann Kermorgant sends Reading through to Championship playoff final

Yann Kermorgant sends Reading through to Championship playoff final

Fulham XI to play Reading: Bettinelli, Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Malone, Johansen, McDonald, Aluko, Cairney, Ayite, Kebano.

There was little to separate these two sides in the first leg, which finished 1-1 at Craven Cottage on Saturday, and ultimately it took a mistake to settle the tie.

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.

The Cottagers had a superb chance to get themselves back into the game with 15 minutes to go.

Ali Al-Habsi (Reading): His team mates immediately ran to their veteran goalkeeper after the final whistle to acknowledge his contribution on a massive night for Reading. We created many chances but we weren't clinical enough.

"As a player it was great to get there and as a manager it will be fantastic".

Reading boss Jaap Stam feels making the play-off final ranks as one of the best achievements of his illustrious footballing career.

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"We know what we need for the summer and we want to be candidates for promotion next season".

"I expect our best players are going to stay with us".

Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic has no fresh injury concerns and could name the same starting line-up for the second leg.

Stam had been forced to shuffle his pack after skipper Paul McShane was sent off in the first leg and scorer Jordan Obita crocked. I've been there myself as well, you think about that result and do you take risks in going forward or do you drop in deep and defend that 1-0. If you concede a goal it can be a very hard game, but you need to trust in yourself as well and that's what we've done today in believing in how you can play and taking some risks as well.

Then came the moment that might well have sealed Reading's place in the richest game in football.

Reading are unbeaten in their last four home matches against Fulham (W2 D2) in all competitions. The Oman international's heroics continued in the first half as he made a brilliant double save off a Fulham free kick. It's important to understand many important steps after last season.

A second-half Yann Kermorgant penalty sealed a 2-1 aggregate win for the Royals on a lively night in Berkshire.

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