Reading 2-1 Stoke: Birthday boy Lucas Joao’s double continues the Royals’ bright start to the Championship campaign as his cool second-half penalty earns Paul Ince’s side all three points after Ben Wilmot levelled for the Potters
- Reading continued their positive start to the Championship season with a win
- Lucas Joao rounded the Stoke keeper to slot home a second-minute equaliser
- The Potters equalised through Ben Wilmot five minutes before half-time
- But Joao was fouled by Wilmot for a penalty that he converted with composure
- It was the perfect way for Joao to mark his 29th birthday on Sunday
Lucas Joao celebrated his birthday in style, as he netted twice for Reading in their win over Stoke.
His double haul at the Select Car Leasing Stadium means the Royals still have a perfect record this season at home.
The hosts got off to the perfect start after two minutes, although Stoke played as much a part in their downfall with a gift.
Lucas Joao scored twice as Reading beat Stoke City to maintain their encouraging start
Joao scored Reading’s second-half penalty split the teams after Stoke had equalised
Ben Wilmot brought Joao down to concede the penalty 12 minutes into the second-half
Goalkeeper Jack Bonham left his area to clear a long ball by opposite shot-stopper Joe Lumley, but the ball evaded him and allowed the Portuguese to connect and aim goalwards.
Aden Flint could only turn his attempted last-gasp clearance into the net, but Joao claimed his second goal of the season.
The visitors regained their composure, and started to make passes without hurting their hosts too much.
Angola international Joao rounded Stoke goalkeeper Jack Bonham to score early on
The Reading striker showed admirable composure to slot the ball home from a tight angle
It was the perfect start for the Royals in front of their fans at the Select Car Leasing Stadium
Reading (3-5-2): Lumley; Holmes, Hutchinson, McIntyre; Yiadom, Ince, Hendrick, Fornah (Guinness-Walker 90+1), Hoilett (Rahman 69); Long (Ehibhatiomhan 71), Lucas Joao
Substitutes not used: Bouzanis (GK); Tetek, Abrefa, Craig
Manager: Paul Ince
Scorer: Lucas Joao 2, 57 pen
Booked: Hutchinson, Lumley
Stoke City (3-5-2): Bonham; Wilmot, Flint, Fox; Brown, Smallbone (Wright-Phillips 86), Baker, Clucas (Thompson 73), Fosu (Powell 61); Delap (Taylor 73), Campbell
Substitutes not used: Bursik (GK); Jagielka, Sparrow
Manager: Alex Neil
Scorer: Wilmot 40
Referee: David Coote
Reading had the potential to hurt Stoke again, and Tom Ince dragged his fine run from the halfway line just wide after 25 minutes.
The lead should have been doubled on 32 minutes, when Shane Long put the ball over the bar from under six yards out following a Tom Holmes knockback.
His miss proved a costly one, as Stoke hit back with five minutes of the half time whistle.
Flint made up for his earlier error by heading a corner into the path of Ben Wilmot. His powerful shot through the Reading defence deflected off Andy Yiadom past Lumley.
The visitors then squandered a chance two minutes after the restart, when Sam Clucas fired over from a cross from the edge of the box.
It was the turn of Reading to punish their opponents following a bad miss at the other end.
Tyrese Fornah fed through Joao who was upended in the area by goalscorer Wilmot. The striker fired down low and right past Bonham for his second – and that of Reading.
Seeking a third goal to effectively kill the game off, the hosts looked the better side in the latter stages.
Stoke pressed for an equaliser, although the closest they came was a flicked header over the crossbar from the returning Nick Powell just before injury time.
Stoke manager Alex Neil shouts at his players from the sidelines during Sunday’s match
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