By Cedelf P. Tupas
Philippine Daily Inquirer
STEPPING up its buildup for the Suzuki Cup late this year, the Philippines will host Indonesia in an international friendly on June 5 at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.
Philippine Football Federation president Mariano “Nonong” Araneta said Indonesia has already confirmed the match even as the PFF awaits confirmation from Thailand for a clash on June 12, also in Manila.
“It’s a good chance for us to test our strength against a strong team in Southeast Asia,” Araneta said of the clash against Indonesia, which will mark the first time the two sides will meet since the semifinals of the 2010 Suzuki Cup.
The Azkals could have the best lineup possible for the match against the 2010 Suzuki Cup losing finalists as the date falls on the Fifa calendar when clubs are inclined to release players for national team duty.
The Indonesians beat the Azkals via 1-0 scorelines in the two-leg semifinals that were played at the cauldron-like Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta. The Philippines did not have a suitable venue for the Azkals’ home leg.
Two matches have already been confirmed for the Philippines in June with the Azkals also facing Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on June 1.
The PFF has also slated a schedule for the Azkals on June 8 possibly against Hong Kong in Bacolod City.