Following a narrow defeat to Italy in Firenze and a 2-2 draw with Azerbaijan at Ta’ Qali, Malta climbed three places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking and is now ranked 157th.
However Malta still remains third from bottom in Europe although it is now just one place behind Liecthenstein. Latvia is ranked 103rd (down 13), followed by Azerbaijan (105, up 5), Georgia (110, up 37), Cyprus (114, down 28), Lithuania (116, down 7), FYR Macedonia (132, down 28), Moldova (132, down 8), Kazakhstan (142, up 3) and Luxembourg (142, down 1) while San Marino (196, down 3) and Andorra (205, down 3) remain in the bottom two places.
Malta faces Norway and then hosts Croatia in the final two EURO qualifiers on October 10 and 13 respectively.
Meanwhile there were some notable changes in the October edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking. At the top, Germany (2nd, up 1) have reclaimed second spot and trail leaders Argentina (1st, unchanged) by just 18 points. Belgium (3rd, down 1) complete the top three. Other climbers in the top ten include Portugal (4th, up 2) and Spain (6th, up 5), while Colombia (5th, down 1) and Brazil (7th, down 2) have lost ground. Spain’s re-entry after three months is down to two wins in qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2016, while Wales (8th, up 1) and Austria (11th, up 2) have achieved their highest-ever rankings, with the latter having already qualified for next year’s tournament.
The biggest movers in the top 50 are Norway (34th, up 35) and Cape Verde Islands (41st, up 15). A number of teams outside the top 50 have also made big leaps, namely Liberia (95th, up 65), South Sudan (144th, up 54), Nicaragua (95th, up 44), the Central African Republic (126th, up 42), the Cook Islands (166th, up 39), Georgia (110th, up 37), American Samoa (164th, up 35), Samoa (162nd, up 34), Finland (64th, up 28), Mauritania (89th, up 25), Antigua and Barbuda (83rd, up 22), Aruba (115th, up 22) and Burundi (113th, up 21).