By Ronnie Nathanielsz
While the Philippine Azkals showed great scoring form against two teams in Germany in their preparation for the home and away series against Sri Lanka in the 2014 World Cup qualifier, the Sri Lankans continued their training, determined to prove they were not pushovers.
The president of the Sri Lanka Football Federation, which will play host to the Azkals in the first match on June 29, at the 25,000 capacity Sugathadasa Stadium in Colombo, has expressed confidence the Sri Lankans would win the home and away series on aggregate.
The return match will be played at the historic Rizal Memorial Stadium on July 3.
Sarath Weerasekera, a member of Parliament and a former Rear Admiral in the Sri Lanka navy, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday that “an intense two week training will suffice” for Sri Lanka to beat the Azkals.
Sri Lanka Football Federation media and communications director Lukmal Perera said the Sri Lankans have been practicing at the Baddagana national team training center in Kotte on the outskirts of the capital of Colombo.
He said the names of the 25 players to be chosen from the 40 who attended the training camp would be announced to the media on Monday.
The reported “new look” Sri Lankans had an extensive three week training stint in South Korea last October under Korean coach Jang Jung, who played mostly as a defender.
The 47-year-old Jung played for Lucky Goldstar Hwangso in South Korea and also saw action with Perak FA and Singapore FA and participated in the Malaysian League. He also suited up for Geylang United in Singapore. Inquirer Sports