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Despite late Suzuki Cup slump, Azkals stay on top of ASEAN rankings

Ivan Saldajeno (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

The Philippine Azkals remain as the best South East Asian football team in the latest FIFA rankings despite a three-game winless streak to put a sour end to their AFF Suzuki Cup campaign.

The three-game dry spell, however, had some effects on the Azkals' global rankings as they dropped two spots and ended up in a tie with Maldives at 130th place with 220 points each.

The Azkals lost to Vietnam in their last assignment in the group stage and to Thailand in the return leg of their semifinal tie in Bangkok.

The Azkals and the Thais held each other to a goalless draw in their first meeting in Manila.

Both Vietnam and Thailand moved up in the overall rankings as they now place 137th and 142 respectively, ranking second and fourth respectively in the ASEAN rankings.

Myanmar, despite an early exit in the said cup, remain third among ASEAN teams but went down a spot to 141st in the global ranks.

Malaysia, Thailand's opponent in the championship series, moved up one spot to 154th overall, remaining fifth in South East Asia.

There was no change of places among the top 23 teams from last month's rankings with Germany still occupying the first spot.

On the other hand, Iran overtook Japan as the top football nation in Asia as the Iranians leapfrogged to 51st overall from 56th last month and the Japanese dropped to 54th overall from 53rd last month.

Rwanda made the biggest leap as it skip 22 places to 68th overall from 90th last month.

Meanwhile, Cuba suffered the biggest dip as it fell 34 notches to 113th overall.