Thu, 28 Oct, 2021
Kuala Lumpur: Iran remain Asia’s top team in the FIFA world rankings as they moved into 42nd spot after the list for April was published on Thursday.
Last month’s victories over India and Oman (pictured) were enough to see them improve on their ranking by two places, while Australia – following comprehensive wins over Tajikistan and Jordan – climbed 17 spots into 50th.
The Socceroos, who were the biggest movers inside the top 50, are now ranked second in Asia, a position which will see them enter next Tuesday’s draw for the final round of the continent’s 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers as one of the two top seeds.
The qualifiers will see the 12 teams separated into Pots 1 to 6, with the teams then being drawn to form two groups of six nations.
Korea Republic and Japan both swapped places in the rankings, with the Taegeuk Warriors now one spot above their neighbours in 56th.
Uzbekistan and China PR were also notable climbers as they moved up eight and 15 places respectively, while United Arab Emirates dropped out of Asia’s top five after falling four spots.
DPR Korea had the third-biggest fall in the world as they dropped 18 spots and are now 112th, while Philippines have reached their new highest position ever just four places behind – with their rise of 19 places the best of all AFC nations.
On the other hand, Malaysia and Indonesia both plummeted to all-time lows in 174th and 185th spots respectively.
Seedings for 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers final round draw
Pot 1: Iran (42nd), Australia (50th)
Pot 2: Korea Republic (56th), Japan (57th)
Pot 3: Saudi Arabia (60th), Uzbekistan (66th)
Pot 4: United Arab Emirates (68th), China PR (81st)
Pot 5: Qatar (83rd), Iraq (105th)
Pot 6: Syria (110th), Thailand (119th)
The third round draw will be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur on April 12, where these 12 teams divided in to two groups of six.The six teams in each group will play each other on a home and away basis with top two sides from each group booking their place at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals.
The two third-placed teams will face each other over two legs, with the winner taking on the side that finishes fourth in the fifth round of the CONCACAF qualifiers in a two-legged inter-confederation playoff.