Fulham snatch point after Kalas’ early sending-off

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Reading 1 Fulham 1

Substitute Lucas Piazon grabbed a late equaliser for 10-man Fulham to maintain their unbeaten start to the season.

The Whites – who lost Tom Cairney to injury in the pre-match warm-up – suffered a further blow when they had defender Tomas Kalas sent off after just 35 seconds.

But the visitors battled hard and, although they fell behind to Liam Kelly’s strike, Piazon earned them a deserved point with a cool finish eight minutes from time.

The game was barely under way when Kalas brought Mo Barrow down just outside the penalty area and referee Simon Hooper reached for the red card.

Sacrificing Neeskens Kebano in order to reconstruct their back four, the Whites dug in tenaciously and restricted their hosts to just a single scoring opportunity in the first 45 minutes.

That chance fell to Joseph Mendes, who rose to head Chris Gunter’s cross goalwards, but David Button flung himself low to his right to turn the ball behind.

In fact, Fulham might have snatched the lead seven minutes before the break when Denis Odoi won possession to tee up Oliver Norwood, whose curling drive forced a tip-over save from Vito Mannone.

Reading began to exploit the extra space more efficiently after the restart and Odoi and Tim Ream both rescued their side with crucial challenges, while the stretching Button denied John Swift.

But the Whites’ defence was exposed again just after the hour when Mendes laid off Barrow’s cross with ease and Kelly drilled beyond Button from the edge of the box.

Swift might have killed Fulham off with a second goal – but instead the lively Piazon levelled matters when he pounced on Gunter’s slip and scampered clear before tucking his shot past Mannone.

The visitors might even have secured victory in the closing stages as Piazon set up Kevin McDonald, but his effort struck Liam Moore and spun behind.

Fulham: Button; Fredericks, Kalas, Ream, Sessegnon; Norwood, McDonald, Johansen (Kamara 75), Kebano (Odoi 4); Ayite (Piazon 50), Aluko.