Singapore slip two more places in latest FIFA rankings
Singapore’s Lions, who take on Syria in a crucial World Cup qualifier later on Thursday evening, dropped two places to No.157 to leave them 28th overall among Asian Football Confederation (AFC) teams.
Coach Bernd Stange’s squad, which fought out an impressive 0-0 draw with Asian heavyweights Japan back in June, succumbed 4-0 to Qatar in its most recent match, a friendly last Friday.
Kyrgyzstan, who lost a World Cup qualifying match to Australia 2-1 in June, replaced Singapore in 155th, equal with an Indian side that drew 0-0 with Nepal late last month.
Apart from a brief spike in 2009 when they climbed from 132nd up to 110th, Singapore have been in a steady, gradual rankings decline.
Sliding from 92nd in 2005 down to 111th the following year, the Lions haven’t managed to crack the top 100 since.
They are about to embark on a two-month stretch that will have a significant impact on their ranking, facing Syria away before home World Cup qualifying matches against Afghanistan, Cambodia, Japan and the Syrians.
Following their victory over the Singaporeans, Qatar rose one place to 94th.
Singapore’s great rivals Malaysia also lost further ground in the latest list, slipping one spot to No.169, just a spot above their lowest ever ranking of 170th, which they hit in April, 2008.
Thailand, who currently lead Group F of World Cup qualifying following consecutive wins against Vietnam and Taiwan, have gained two places to No.137.
Indonesia, still under a playing ban from FIFA due to government inteference into the sport, remained steady at No.165.
Iran are still Asia’s highest ranked nation, climbing one spot to No.40 overall.
Next up are South Korea (No.57) and Japan (No.58) despite both losing ground, falling three and two places respectively, while Australia’s Socceroos were steady in 61st position.
The United Arab Emirates, who host Malaysia in a World Cup qualifying tie on Thursday evening, have the fifth highest Asian ranking at No.70, ahead of Uzbekistan (No.76), Iraq (No.82) and China (No.84).
The Chinese, who recorded a 2-0 win over North Korea, a 1-1 draw with Japan and a 2-0 defeat to South Korea in three friendlies in August, suffered the biggest fall of any Asian nation, slipping five spots overall.