• Azkals remain No.1 in Southeast Asia

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    The Philippine Azkals remained the highest-ranked football team in the Southeast Asian region despite crashing out of the group stage of the Suzuki Cup.

    But the Azkals dropped three notches down in the recently released FIFA international rankings for December, from No. 117 to No.120.

    Azkal Stephan Schröck (right) battles for the ball against So Hyon Uk of North Korea during an international friendly match between Philippines and North Korea at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on October 10. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

    Azkal Stephan Schröck (right) battles for the ball against So Hyon Uk of North Korea during an international friendly match between Philippines and North Korea at Rizal Memorial Stadium in Manila on October 10. PHOTO BY DJ DIOSINA

    Despite the drop, the Philippine national team is still ahead of defending Asean Football Federation (AFF) Champion Thailand that is currently No. 126.

    The Azkals were left to settle for a disappointing third place finish in the group stage of the Southeast Asian Championship—the first time they bowed out of contention in the preliminary round in six years.

    The Philippines was not able to notch wins against Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia in the Group A games that were held at the Philippine Sports Stadium in Bulacan.

    The team, prior to the Suzuki Cup posted a 1-0 victory over Kyrgyzstan in November.

    Vietnam is now No.3 in SE Asia at No. 135 and Myanmar No.4 at No. 159.

    Indonesia, after serving a one-year suspension, had a runner-up finish in the Suzuki Cup. The country claimed the accolade of its Southeast Asian neighbors for an impressive ascent in FIFA rankings from No.179 to No.171.

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