Kuala Lumpur: Australia will arrive at next month’s AFC Women’s Asian Cup as the continent’s highest ranked team, despite dropping two places to sixth in the latest FIFA Women’s World Rankings update.
The Matildas - who reached an all-time high of fourth in the most recent update in December - saw their year-long unbeaten run surprisingly ended by Portugal in the Algarve Cup third-place playoff earlier this month.
Reigning AFC Women’s Asian Cup champions Japan are now ranked third in Asia, after they fell two places to 11th, with DPR Korea – who failed to qualify for Jordan 2018 – just above them in 10th.
Korea Republic and China PR round out Asia’s top five in 16th and 17th respectively, while Thailand remained unchanged at 30th and Vietnam fell three spots to 33rd.
AFC Women’s Asian Cup hosts Jordan will begin their campaign from outside the global top 50 after falling to 51, while Philippines will be the lowest ranked team in the Finals. The Southeast Asians did not feature in any official international matches during the latest update period, leaving them 15th in Asia and 72 on the global list.
The FIFA World Rankings provided an accurate guide ahead of the 2014 AFC Women’s Asian Cup, where Japan – then ranked third – defeated 11th-ranked Australia in the final in Ho Chi Minh City.