Connect with us
[adinserter block="13"] [adinserter block="3"]

Recent success reflects as Azkals rewrite history anew in FIFA rankings



A victorious month of June bolstered the reputation of Philippine football to a new level. According to the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings, the Philippines are now the 124th best team in the world. It is the country’s highest ever position since the rankings were done back in 1992.

Thomas Dooley’s current crop of players enjoyed a wonderful start in 2018 FIFA World Cup/2019 AFC Asian Cup joint qualifiers, taking two wins out of two against Bahrain and Yemen. The wins, particularly at home against a higher-seeded Bahrain, merited the Azkals enough points to improve from 137th a month ago. As a result, the Philippines regained the highest ranking in Southeast Asia while also being a top 16 team among the Asian Football Confederation teams.

There is more room for the Filipinos to climb should they defeat the 75th ranked and sixth-best in Asia Uzbekistan come September 8 at the Philippine Sports Stadium. They are also looking for a friendly match opponent in preparation for that all-important affair. Neighbors Vietnam and Thailand have reportedly declined invitations from the PFF and Indonesia is suspended by the sport’s world governing body. Two more wins in early September may possibly bring the Philippines closer to the top half of the rankings.

The FIFA/Coca-Cola World Rankings measures each FIFA member nation’s recent progress in the sport. Before, it was brought up by skeptics and critics of the Azkals that the Filipinos played more than other Southeast Asian teams so the chances of earning more points were higher. However, now at a relatively same band of matches in a period, this most recent step may be greeted with both awe and caution.

Elsewhere in the rankings, Argentina’s bridesmaid finish in the recently concluded Copa America earned them enough points to leapfrog relatively idle Germany on top of the index. Despite dropping the most points, the recent World Cup Winners still sit in second place, just above fellow UEFA side and neighbors Belgium. Central American team Belize made the biggest ascent in the rankings, jumping from 155 to 118 while the Central African Republic slid the furthest to 170 from last month’s 141.

Click to comment