Philippine Azkals move up to 129th spot in the World after a runner up finish to Palestine in the Challenge Cup


The Philippine Azkals fill short of the title in the Asian Football Confederation Challenge Cup after yielding to eventual champion Palestine in the Finals, 1-0.


But it was still a good showing for the Philippine national men’s football team
after a semifinal stint in the last edition of the tournament.

With that awesome performance, the Azkals have moved up in the latest FIFA World Rankings released on Thursday.

The Azkals moved to 129th this month from 140th last May to jump 11 spots in the rankings. They became second in Southeast Asia behind Vietnam (123rd) and ahead of Thailand (149th), Malaysia (153rd), Singapore (155th) and Indonesia (157th).

The Azkals made it to the Challenge Cup final for the first time, not losing a single match until the final, where they yielded to Palestine in the title-decider to fall short of punching a ticket to the prestigious Asian Cup in 2015.

Challenge Cup champion Palestine made the biggest leap in the rankings after jumping 71 places from 165th to 94th.

Challenge Cup participants Turkmenistan (143rd), Maldives (147th), which the Azkals both defeated, and Myanmar (159th) also gained points to move up in the ladder.

Iran remained the best-ranked team in Asia followed by Japan, South Korea, Uzbekistan and Australia.

Defending champion Spain continued its reign on top of the table before the World Cup, followed by Germany, host Brazil, Portugal and Argentina.

FIFA calculates every country’s ranking based on match results (a win, a loss or a draw), importance (i.e. a friendly or a World Cup match), and strength of the nation’s opponent ranking-wise. These points are then accumulated from the country’s past results in the previous four years.

The Azkals will be gearing up for the 2014 AFF Suzuki Cup in November which will be co-hosted by Singapore and Vietnam.

--- with reports from Sports5.ph

Philippine Azkals move up to 129th spot in the World after a runner up finish to Palestine in the Challenge Cup Philippine Azkals move up to 129th spot in the World after a runner up finish to Palestine in the Challenge Cup Reviewed by Jay-R Bayon-on on 6/06/2014 Rating: 5

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