Azkals 2nd best ranked football team in Southeast AsiaPosted on November 10th, 2012 under Sporting Gold
The Philippine Azkals are now ranked second best in the Southeast Asian region after moving up to 143rd in the latest rankings released by the world governing body FIFA.
Aided by their impressive results during their friendly matches against fancied nations like Bahrain and Kuwait, the Azkals jumped four rungs higher from 147th after compiling 184 points at the end of October.
It is considered as the country’s highest ranking.
The country is now just three rungs behind Vietnam, which improved to 138th from 140th.
Thailand, one of the hosts of the AFF Suzuki Cup group stage, fell to 146th from 139th.
The Azkals’ improvement should now satisfy team manager Dan Palami, who earlier expressed his desire to see the team become the highest-ranked in the region.
It should also give the National booters some inspiration heading into this month’s Suzuki Cup group stage where they are bracketed in Group A against, ironically, Thailand, Vietnam and late qualifier Myanmar.
The team opens its semis bid on Nov. 24 against Thailand before battling Vietnam and Myanmar on the 27th and 30th, respectively.
Last month, the Azkals forged a scoreless tie with Bahrain in Manama before dropping a 2-0 setback to Kuwait in Kuwait City.
Brothers Phil and James Younghusband and several foreign-based players will likely banner the team in the Suzuki Cup.
Also being eyed are Neil Etheridge, Stephan Schrock, Angel Guirado, Dennis Cagara, Jerry Lucena, Roland Muller, Ray Jonsson and Manny Ott.