Azkals end 2016 on top of ASEAN charts despite early Suzuki Cup exit

(file photo)
By Kevin Estrada

MANILA--Despite an embarassing exit in their home Suzuki Cup last month, the Philippine men's football team will have a consolatory Christmas gift as they end the year as Southeast Asia's number one side.

The Azkals have dropped three places to 120 in the final release of FIFA Rankings of the year, racking up with 273 points in their three Group A matches, but it was still enough for them to keep their top spot in the ASEAN region despite being knocked out of the group stage and also end their year as the 13th best side in Asia

By retaining their AFF Suzuki Cup for their record fifth title, Thailand closed the gap between them and the Azkals, moving three spots to 126, one behind North Korea.

Surprise finalists Indonesia are the region's biggest mover, moving up eight spots higher to 171, while Myanmar climbed seven spots to end 2016 as the world's 148th best side.

Lionel Messi and Argentina end their year by remaining the world's best team for the ninth consecutive month, while, Iran retain their hold as the top Asian side, barging in to the top 30 at 29th spot.

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