Vietnam pull way ahead of Thailand after World Cup qualifiers success

By Phan Nghia   November 29, 2019 | 05:00 pm PT
Vietnam pull way ahead of Thailand after World Cup qualifiers success
Vietnam (red) play Thailand in a World Cup qualification match in Hanoi, November 19, 2019. Photo by VnExpress/Duc Dong.
Vietnam finish 2019 in 94th place in the FIFA rankings after a good run in the World Cup 2022 qualifiers.

With a win against UAE and a draw with Thailand earlier this month, they scored 13 points in the rankings to reach 1,258. Vietnam are now 14th in Asia and top Southeast Asia.

The national team will have no more matches in 2019 meaning no other teams have a chance to surpass them in the December rankings.

This is Vietnam’s second consecutive year in the world’s top 100. They closed last year at a round 100th.

The last time they had broken into the top 100 before that was in June 2011. The highest ever ranking Vietnam achieved was 84th in September 1998.

Their main regional rival, Thailand, have dropped four places to 113th after a loss to Malaysia and the draw with Vietnam. They are 19th in Asia and second in Southeast Asia.

The last time the gap was this big was in September 2018 when Vietnam were in 102nd place to Thailand’s 122nd.

Most teams in Southeast Asia made great improvements in November, the Philippines two places to 124th, Malaysia four places to 154th and Myanmar 11 places to 136th.

Elsewhere in Asia, Iran dropped six places following a loss to Iraq, losing the top spot in Asia to Japan.

In the world’s top 10, the only significant change was Croatia overtaking Portugal into sixth position.

The top five remained unchanged. Belgium remained the top ranked team followed by France, Brazil, England, and Uruguay.

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