“What happened in six years”.
“South Korea, which was ranked lower than China just six years ago, is approaching its highest-ever world ranking,” China’s Zibo.com reported on Sept. 27 (local time).
South Korea 텍사스홀덤 jumped from 26th to 24th in the rankings released by FIFA on Sept. 26, earning 1540.35 points, up 7.34 points from September’s 1533.01 points. It jumped two spots after moving from 28th to 26th last month.
South Korea won back-to-back games against Tunisia and Vietnam in October’s A-Match trials – 4-0 and 6-0 wins, respectively, without conceding a goal. It was their third straight win, dating back to a 1-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in September.
The victory over Tunisia was the first home win since Jürgen Klinsmann took over as head coach in March. Klinsmann now has three wins, three draws and two losses.
South Korea is now ranked third in the Asian Football Confederation (AFC), behind Japan (18th) and Iran (21st). Japan, who last appeared in the top 10 for the first time in 11 years and eight months last month, moved back up one spot. Iran and fourth-ranked Australia (27th) stayed the same.
Tunisia, which lost to South Korea, dropped from 29th to 32nd. Vietnam climbed from 95th to 94th. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), coached by Paulo Bento, moved up from 70th to 69th, while Kim Pang Gon’s Malaysia is 137th and Shin Tae-yong’s Indonesia is 145th.
China, meanwhile, is ranked 79th, up one spot from 80th, after going 1-1 in October’s A matches (win against Vietnam, loss against Uzbekistan).
South Korea is quickly regaining its soccer momentum following the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia. Interestingly, in the October 2017 FIFA rankings, South Korea was ranked 62nd, lower than China (57th at the time).
This was the first time South Korea was ranked lower than China since the FIFA ranking system was established. At the time, South Korea was coming off a poor season under Uli Stielike.
“South Korean soccer has bounced back quickly from being ranked lower than China,” said Zvo.com. “Now, South Korea is aiming for a higher ranking than its previous best of 17th,” said Zebo.com, “with the best Asian players in history, Son Heung-min, Lee Kang-in and Kim Min-jae, performing well in the A-Level matches will be enough to overcome.