Japan up to 17th in FIFA rankings

BERNE - Japan moved into the top 20 of the FIFA world rankings on Wednesday after winning the Asian Cup last month while world champions Spain stayed in first place.

Japan's record fourth Asian title which they won in Qatar lifted them 12 places to 17th, making them the Asian confederation's highest-ranked side. It is the first time they have been in the top 20 for nearly five years.

Australia, beaten Asia Cup finalists, jumped five places to 21st.

Honduras were another big climber after winning a qualifying tournament for this year's CONCACAF Gold Cup and jumped 17 places to 39th.

The top nine places remained unchanged with Spain leading Netherlands, Germany, Brazil and Argentina.

Ghana, 15th, are Africa's best-placed side and United States, 18th, lead the way for CONCACAF.

San Marino, Anguilla, Montserrat, American Samoa and Papua-New Guinea are level in 203rd and last place.

Sao Tome and Principe are the only one of FIFA's 208 teams who are not ranked, due to inactivity.


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