The impressive performance of the Philippine women’s football team in the Asian Football Confederation Asian Cup Qualifiers last month bore fruit on Friday as it emerged as the biggest gainer in this month’s International Football Federation (Fifa) rankings.
The Malditas, who barely missed an Asian Cup berth after finishing second in their four-team group, moved seven places up to 76th, their second-highest ranking ever, among over 170 footballing nations in the rankings released on Friday.
The Filipina booters were ranked 75th twice, the last in December 2009.
Malditas coach Ernie Nierras claimed it was the women's team's biggest jump in more than a decade, or since 2002.
“We expect to continue our improvement in both Fifa and AFC rankings come August,” Nierras told Spin.ph hours after the release.
The Malditas, a side bolstered by a bunch of US NCAA Division 1 players, are now also the 16th-best team in Asia.
USA remains the world’s benchmark women’s squad, followed by Germany and Japan.