Azkals move up in FIFA men’s world rankings, now 3rd best nat’l football team in Southeast Asia

By: Glendale G. Rosal - Multimedia Correspondent - CDN Digital | July 02,2023 - 11:12 AM

Azkals move up in FIFA men’s world rankings, now 3rd best nat’l football team in Southeast Asia

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Philippine Men’s National Football Team or the Philippine Azkals climbed one place higher in the latest FIFA men’s world rankings. 

The Philippines which ranked No. 136 in the FIFA world rankings last April, moved a place higher at No. 135 in June’s latest rankings.

Third best national team in Southeast Asia

The Azkals are now the third best Southeast Asian national football team among 11 other nations. 

READ: In search of wins, Azkals also looking to regain relevance

They’re behind Thailand which is ranked at No. 113, while Vietnam leads the Southeast Asian region at No. 95.

The Azkals are ahead of Malaysia (137th), Indonesia (150th), Singapore (158th), Myanmar (160th), Cambodia (176th), Laos (188th), Brunei Darussalam (191st), and Timor-Leste (195th). 

Still, it was a contrasting outcome from their March 2023 rankings at 134th. 

READ: Azkals split international friendlies after bitter loss to Taiwan at home

Azkals buoyed by FIFA-sanctioned friendlies

One of the contributing factors on how the Philippine national football team maintained their position in the FIFA world rankings was the series of FIFA-sanctioned friendlies last month. 

It can be recalled that the Azkals hosted Chinese Taipei and Nepal in a back-to-back friendlies in June at the Rizal Memorial Stadium.

They started off strong with a win over Nepal, 1-0 last June 15, behind the return of head coach Hasn Michael Weiss. 

However, they lost to Chinese-Taipei, 2-3, last June 19, at the same venue. 

READ: Azkals’ coach Michael Weiss lauds Stephan Schrock’s ‘substance’

Middle East friendlies

Prior to that, the Azkals visited the Middle East last summer for a round of friendlies against Middle-Eastern national squads. 

They faced Kuwait last March 25 at the  Jaber Al Ahmad Stadium in Kuwait City and lost, 0-2. They went on losing to Jordan, 0-4, on March 29 in Doha, Qatar. 

The Azkals have a more important task this year. They’re scheduled to compete in the FIFA World Cup qualifiers later this year. Part of their preparations for this were the friendlies.

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/dcb

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TAGS: Azkals, FIFA, football, Philippine Azkals

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