After a series of dismal results, Malaysia’s FIFA ranking fell to a record low of 174th.
But national coach Ong Kim Swee is confident his team will move inside 160 before the end of the year.
The team’s previous all-time low was 171 between November last year and February, before moving five rungs to 166 last month.
“It is disappointing but I believe it is only temporary. We have targeted at least 15 international matches for this season and I am confident we will move inside 160 by the end of the year,” said Malaysia coach Ong Kim Swee.
“We have a friendly on 27 or 28 May (with an unspecified opponent) and also the Asian Cup play-off tie against Timor Leste on 2 and 7 June, and if we can win all three games, our ranking will improve.
“I have planned a proper programme to improve our ranking. In June, we will head to Oceania and play three ‘A’ internationals against Papua New Guinea, New Caledonia and Fiji.
“The team will also play friendly matches later in the year before the AFF Cup in November,”
With the latest ranking, Malaysia are now ranked 32nd in Asia and sixth in Southeast Asia behind Philippines (116th), Thailand (119th), Vietnam (144th), Singapore (148th) and Myanmar (166th).