By Olmin Leyba, The Philippine Star
Posted at 11/07/2012 11:36 AM | Updated as of 11/07/2012 11:36 AM
MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Icelandic defender Ray Jonsson will have a homecoming of sorts when the Philippine Azkals mix it up with Singapore in an international friendly on Nov. 15 at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Jonsson, who was born and raised in Liloan, Cebu before his family moved to Iceland when he was eight, is expected to boost the backline of the Azkals against the visiting Lions in a rare stint in front of his fellow Cebuanos.
The Cebuano fullback is among three foreign-based Azkals flying over to the Queen City of the South for their final tune-up before the AFF Suzuki Cup, alongside Fil-British Rob Gier and Chris Greatwich, according to team coordinator Ace Bright.
They will link up with the PH XI mainstays who are based in the country, including Fil-German Patrick Reichelt, who traces his roots to Argao, in their bid to repeat against the payback-seeking Lions.
The last time the two national sides met in Singapore's turf, the Azkals emerged victorious, 2-0, marking the first time in a long while that a PH team prevailed over its Southeast Asian neighbor, a three-time regional titlist.
"We hope we will win again against Singapore, the three-time champion," team manager Dan Palami said recently when the Philippine Football Federation and organizing Cebu Football Association signed an agreement for the friendly dubbed: "Face Off in Cebu City: Azkals vs Singapore."
Like the Pinoy booters, the Singaporeans are in the final stretch of their preparations for the Suzuki Cup.
The other day, a 24-man pool led by Aleksandr Duric, Sharil Ishak, and Daniel Bennett, left for Japan to commence a weeklong training camp in Shimizu in Shizuoka Prefecture before their date with the Azkals.
The Lions are slated for a tune-up match with J. League side Shimizu S-Pulse on Nov. 10.