By Olmin Leyba
MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine Azkals will kick off their buildup for the Asean Football Federation (AFF) Suzuki Cup with a home friendly against Turkmenistan on Sept. 2.
According to Philippine Football federation general secretary Edwin Gastanes, the Turkmenistan Football Federation has accepted their invitation to play the Pinoy booters in the country.
“They’ve already agreed in principle to play here and we’re just finalizing the details and securing permits for the international friendly,” Gastanes told The STAR last night.
Gastanes said they are eyeing the Philippine Sports Stadium as venue for the friendly.
“If it’s available, we’re looking at the Philippine Stadium so that the team will get used to playing there,” he said of the 25,000-seater Bulacan stadium, which will also be the main hub for the Suzuki Cup.
The 119th ranked Turkmenistan is a familiar rival for the Azkals. They previously crossed paths in the 2012 Challenge Cup semis with the Turks winning, 2-1, in Nepal before the Pinoy booters struck back with a 2-0 victory in the 2014 AFC Challenge Cup in Maldives.
After hosting Turkmenistan, the Azkals will fly to Kyrgyzstan for their scheduled Sept. 6 friendly.