THE Philippines’ splendid work on the pitch recently has reflected on paper as the men’s football team jumped to its best ever in the world rankings.
Riding the strength of a come-from-behind 3-2 win over North Korea that capped their World Cup/Asian Cup second-round qualifying campaign, the Azkals moved 19 places up to 116th in the FIfa (International Football Federation) rankings released on Wednesday.
The Filipino booters, whose previous best was 124th reached last July, also put up a gallant stand before surrendering a close 1-0 decision to Asian powerhouse Uzbekistan last month.
The Philippines thus moved just four places behind North Korea, a two-time World Cup participant which dropped 18 spots from 94th – one of the worst slides this month.
The Azkals, who regained their place as the No. 1 team in Southeast Asia, are now ranked 16th in the continent.
The April rankings also saw a new No. 1 in returnee Argentina, Australia climbing from sixth to second, Chile and Colombia in third and fourth, and former No. 1 Germany rounding out the Top Five.