Azkals move up in FIFA rankings, now second in Southeast Asia

Icko de Guzman
The Philippine men's football team is ranked 143rd in the world, its highest in FIFA history

MANILA, Philippines – There is nowhere to go but up for Philippine football as the latest International Football Federation Association (FIFA) rankings issued Wednesday, November 7, brought the country to greater heights — going from 147 to 143 this month.

This has been the highest ranking that the Philippine men’s football team has garnered since the introduction of the FIFA rankings.

The latest rankings also meant that the Philippines sits at number two in the Southeast Asian rankings, overtaking Suzuki Cup rivals Thailand, who dropped to 146, but behind another rival, Vietnam who sits at 138.

Last month, the Philippines went to the Middle East for a training camp and played a series of friendlies against higher ranked Bahrain and Kuwait, against whom they drew 0-0 and lost 2-1 respectively.

That training camp also served as the team’s preparation for the upcoming AFF Suzuki Cup which will be held in Bangkok starting November 24.

The results of the Suzuki Cup is expected to affect FIFA rankings.

The Azkals’ preparation is not over yet however, as they are set to fly to Cebu next week for their final match before the Suzuki Cup against Singapore on November 15.

The two countries have already met last September with the Philippines winning 2-0 in the Lion City, with goals from captain Chieffy Caligdong and striker Phil Younghusband. –