Azkals set new FIFA ranking high, top ASEAN nations anew

Rejj Sibayan (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Philippine Azkals are back on top of Southeast Asian football.

The Azkals moved 13 spots up from last month's ranking after scoring back-to-back FIFA World Cup Qualifier wins against Bahrain and Yemen.

In the new update released on Thursday, the Azkals, with 236 points, soared to 124th overall from 137th last month, the highest a Philippine national football team has ever been.

The Azkals also retook the top position among ASEAN countries as Vietnam suffered a huge fall.

Vietnam, the erstwhile top Southeast Asian team, slipped 16 notches to 143rd overall, dropping to third in the region.

Thailand, despite maintaining second spot in the ASEAN region, dipped 11 spots to 140th overall from 129th last month.

The Azkals also moved up to 17th place in Asian rankings.

Because of their respective losses to the Azkals, Bahrain, despite staying 13th in Asia, dropped seven spots to 113th overall, while Yemen fell six places to 171st overall, eventually dropping three spots in the Asian rankings as Guam, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan scored huge WCQ wins of their own to move up by as much as 21 spots.

North Korea, which is also part of the WCQ group where the Azkals belong, is closely behind them at 129th overall and 18th in Asia. The fifth member, Uzbekistan, dropped a spot to 75th overall, although the team stayed sixth in Asia.

Meanwhile, despite failing to capture the Copa America, Argentina's run to the tournament final was enough to push the team to top of the global rankings with 1,473 points, dropping European teams Germany and Belgium to second and third respectively.

On the other hand, Iran remained the top Asian team and even moved three places up to 38th overall with 716 points.