Despite two defeats to Israel and Denmark, Malta climbed another place in the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking to end 2013 in the 87th place. This is the highest ever ranking for the women’s national team. In December 2012, Malta was ranked 104th.
In 2013, Malta played six matches – a friendly match against Cyprus in January which ended in a 1-1 draw. Malta then drew 1-1 with Albania and defeated Luxembourg 6-0 and Latvia 2-0 in a FIFA Women’s World Cup mini-tournament to reach the qualifying round proper. Malta lost 2-0 to Israel away from home, losing 0-5 to Denmark at the Centenary Stadium last month.
Among the other European countries, Malta is ranked 43rd, just behind Montenegro, Lithuania and Latvia and ahead of Luxembourg, Armenia, Georgia, Cyprus, FYR Macedonia, Azerbaijan and Moldova.
Meanwhile the leading pack of four remain unchanged, but France (5th, up 1) have leapfrogged over Sweden (6th, down 1) and both are now within ten points of 4th-placed Brazil, who risk dropping out of the top five for the first time since June 2007. Coincidentally, France have equalled their highest-ever position and Sweden their lowest.
The most notable event in the top ten is the steady rise of Norway (8th, up 2), who have reached this position for the first time since November 2010. Germany meanwhile have edged five points closer to the USA who still remain 72 points clear at the top. Another significant improvement over the past months has been that of Switzerland (22nd, up 3). Thanks to their two away wins in Iceland (19th, down 4) and Denmark (13th, down 1), the Swiss have now reached their highest-ever position in the ranking.
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