Following a 1-1 draw with Lithuania and a 3-0 defeat to Slovakia, Malta managed to climb nine places in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking as published on Monday and is now 182nd.
Malta is now ranked 51st in Europe, ahead of Kosovo (183, up 1), Liechtenstein (187), San Marino (204) and Gibraltar (206). Lying just ahead of Malta are Azerbaijan (115, down 23), Latvia (129, up 19), Kazakhstan (133, down 7), Andorra (144), Lithuania (145, down 25) and Moldova (145, down 11).
The next commitment for Malta is a friendly match against Estonia on November 12. A match will mark the debut for new coach Tom Saintfiet.
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Meanwhile Peru have climbed into the top ten of the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking for the first time in an edition marked by the recent, decisive FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The Peruvians, who qualified for an Intercontinental Play-off against New Zealand, were joined in the Ranking’s upper echelons by Spain, who climbed from 11th to 8th on the back of an impressive conclusion to their unbeaten qualifying campaign.
Photo (2): Copyright © Paul Zammit Cutajar / MFA
As a result of the latest ranking, Pot 1 for the Russia 2018 draw on 1 December has been decided. Russia, Germany, Brazil, Portugal, Argentina, Belgium, Poland and France make up the top seeded teams.
The ranking table makes pleasant reading for many European nations, with Germany holding on to top spot and France (7, up 1), England (12, up 3), Denmark (19, up 7), Scotland (29, up 14) and Austria (39, up 18) among others making significant gains.
The Austrians are one of four new entries to the top 50, where they are joined by Czech Republic (46, up 12), Morocco (48, up 8) and World Cup qualifying sensations Panama (49, up 11). That shake-up has left UEFA with 28 teams in the top 50, up one on last month, a rise that comes at the expense of CONMEBOL, who drop down to eight.