Vietnam reach 16-year peak in FIFA rankings

By Phan Nghia   November 15, 2019 | 04:33 pm PT
Vietnam reach 16-year peak in FIFA rankings
Vietnamese players celebrate their victory against UAE in a World Cup qualification match in Hanoi, November 14, 2019. Photo by VnExpress.
Beating UAE Thursday night in a World Cup qualifier has pushed Vietnam's men football to 93rd in the latest FIFA rankings.

The match's only goal by Vietnamese forward Nguyen Tien Linh in the 44th minute helped Vietnam to temporarily hold top spot in group G, with a three-point difference over the second-placed team, Thailand.

As every match in World Cup qualifiers impacts a nation’s FIFA rankings, the win against UAE, a much higher ranked team (67th), benefited Vietnam greatly, giving it 15.1 points.

The new score of 1,260 places Vietnam 14th in Asia, the highest ranking since January 2003 and the second-highest ranking in its history.

The peak position till date in Vietnamese men's football is a world ranking of 84th in September 1998.

Previously, in October 2019 FIFA rankings announcement, Vietnamese men's football had climbed two places to return to 97th position after beating Malaysia and Indonesia in 2022 World Cup qualifying matches.

On the other hand, both of Vietnam's close competitors in Group G of World Cup Qualifiers fell in their rankings, UAE to 71st and Thailand 114th.

On November 19, Vietnam will have another chance to improve its FIFA rankings in the World Cup qqualifier against Thailand. If they win, Vietnam will both secure the first place in Group G and continue to climb closer to the world’s top 90 in FIFA rankings with an additional 10.5 points.

The three strongest football teams in the world are Belgium (1,755 points), France (1,726), and Brazil (1,715). In Asia, Iran (1,505), Japan (1,498) and South Korea (1,466) hold the top three positions.

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