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HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Football

Reading hold Fulham in six-goal thriller
AFP
Reading, October 27, 2012
First Published: 22:52 IST(27/10/2012)
Last Updated: 22:57 IST(27/10/2012)
Reading's Adrian Mariappa, left, challenges Fulham's Dimitar Berbatov during their English Premier League soccer match at the Madjeski stadium, in Reading, England. AP Photo

Fulham climbed to sixth place in the Premier League table despite conceding a last-minute equaliser in a pulsating 3-3 draw at Reading on Saturday.

Reading, who were seeking their first win since promotion from the Championship last season, went ahead first but trailed 2-1 and then 3-2 before Hal Robson-Kanu pounced at the death to give the hosts a share of the points.

The promoted side remain in the bottom three, although the point was enough for them to leapfrog Southampton on goal difference.

Pavel Pogrebnyak was playing against Fulham for the first time since leaving the club in the summer and he spurned a great chance to break the deadlock in the fifth minute when he headed Nicky Shorey's cross wide from close range.

Dimitar Berbatov shot narrowly over for Fulham at the other end before the breakthrough arrived in spectacular fashion in the 26th minute, as Jobi McAnuff teed up Mikele Leigertwood to find the top corner from 25 yards.

It was a second Premier League goal for Leigertwood, 2,835 days since he opened his account while playing for Crystal Palace in January 2005.

Hugo Rodallega should have equalised for Fulham nine minutes prior to half-time, but he miscued his attempted header from Damien Duff's cross and Alex McCarthy made a comfortable save.

Rodallega made way for Bryan Ruiz just before the hour and the Costa Rican forward had an immediate impact, thumping home via the underneath of the crossbar from Duff's pass to draw the visitors level.

Martin Jol's side then moved ahead in the 77th minute when Chris Baird rewarded a spell of Fulham pressure by glancing home at the near post from a Ruiz corner to claim his second goal in two games.

Reading refused to be deterred, however, and after forcing Fulham onto the back foot, they drew level with five minutes to play when Garath McCleary finished from Adam LeFondre's cross.

Berbatov drilled home from Steve Sidwell's pass in the 88th minute to restore Fulham's lead, but Robson-Kanu bundled the ball in from close range less than two minutes later to earn Reading a point and cap a breathless finale.


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