Japan makes big move in rankings

Sports Network

, Last Updated: 1:18 PM ET

ZURICH -- The 2011 Asian Cup had a big impact on the latest edition of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Men's World Rankings, which were released on Wednesday.

The top nine teams remain the same from January with Spain, the Netherlands and Germany still holding the top three spots respectively, while Egypt (33rd, down 23) dropped out of the top 10 all the way back to 33rd because of a significant devaluation of the points earned one year ago at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Asian Cup champions Japan (17th, up 12) moved into the top 20 for the first time in nearly five years, while runners-up Australia (21st, up 5) and semifinalists Korea Republic (32nd, up 7) also made moves up the table.

The CONCACAF region also saw a pair of teams make significant improvement with Honduras (39th, up 17) and Costa Rica (48th, up 21) each enjoying wins in qualification matches for the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Canada moved up four places to 80th, sandwiched between the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Moldova.

The United States remains in 18th but had its next match against Egypt, which was scheduled for Feb. 9, canceled because of the current conditions in the country.

The next edition of the FIFA rankings will be published on Mar. 9.


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