The 2016-17 Championship playoffs semifinal between Fulham and Reading is all square after the first leg. The 1-1 tie at Craven Cottage on May 13 suits Reading more than Fulham, not least because the Royals play the second leg at home. Away goals count for nothing extra in the Championship playoffs, so if the aggregate score is tied after 90 minutes and extra time on Tuesday, May 16, there will be a penalty shoot-out to decide which team advances to the final and a shot at promotion to the Premier League.
Fulham had the more positive intent in the first leg, as Reading appeared determined to disrupt and play for the draw from the start. There is no crime, of course, in seeking to nullify an opponent's home advantage. As Fulham head coach Slavisa Jokanovic noted after the game, per The Guardian: "They arrived with a clear plan, and this plan worked for them for a good hour."
It worked perhaps better than expected: after 60 minutes, Reading was a goal up thanks to Jordan Obita's 53rd-minute strike, at the cost of a couple of first-half yellow cards (including one for time-wasting, issued to John Swift in the 39th minute). But Fulham equalized through Tom Cairney in the 65th minute, ensuring at least only minimal advantage was conceded to Reading for the second leg.
The Royals will have one selection headache for the second leg: captain Paul McShane was sent off at Craven Cottage in the 80th minute. But Fulham couldn't find a way past 10 men in the game's closing stages.
Former New York Red Bulls defender Tim Ream started and played the full 90 minutes for Fulham. He and his teammates kick off against Reading at Madejski Stadium at 2:45 pm, Eastern, on Tuesday, May 16.