Harimau Malaya leap to best Fifa ranking in 23 months

Malaysia’s Corbin Ong Lawrence scores the first goal during their match with Timor Leste during the first leg of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup first round qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2019. — Bernama pic
Malaysia’s Corbin Ong Lawrence scores the first goal during their match with Timor Leste during the first leg of the 2022 World Cup/2023 Asian Cup first round qualifiers in Kuala Lumpur June 7, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — The national football squad, Harimau Malaya are now in the best ranking of the International Football Federation (FIFA) since July 2017, when they are ranked 159th this month.

Malaysia were placed 167th in the world in July 2017 before slipping to their worst ever standing at the 178th spot in March last year.

Based on the latest rankings issued by Fifa today, Malaysia soared nine rungs from 168th in April to the 159th position and Malaysia were among the best three performers with Armenia and Hungary.

The meteoric rise followed a 2-0 win by the squad under coach Tan Cheng Hoe over Nepal in an international friendly early this month before crushing Timor Leste 7-1 and 5-1 in two 2022 World Cup/2023 Asia Cup Qualifiers recently.

The latest list also saw Malaysia placed the 32nd best in Asia and fifth in Asean behind Vietnam (96), Thailand (116), Philippines (126), and Myanmar in the 138th spot.

Neighbours, Indonesia dropped to the 160th place while Singapore fell two rungs to 162. 

Belgium retained their number one rank in the world while 2018 World Cup champions, France are second with Brazil coming in third. — Bernama

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