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New Zealand friendly aids rise in ranks

An international friendly against China in November has helped New Zealand’s All Whites climb two spots on the ladder to 91st in the November edition of the rankings, which takes into account the results of 143 internationals.
The All Whites sit nine places ahead of New Caledonia who have dropped four places to 108 despite showing some strong form throughout the year, including knocking the New Zealanders out of the OFC Nations Cup semi-finals with a 2-0 victory.
New Caledonia remains the only country to pose a threat to the All Whites’ chances of going on to the FIFA World Cup qualifying play-off against the fourth-placed CONCACAF side, however the lack of international matches during November has impacted their World Ranking.
Fellow Francophone side Tahiti recorded a historic 1-0 defeat over New Caledonia in the Nations Cup final in June to become the first Pacific Island country to qualify for a FIFA Confederations Cup tournament.
But once again a lack of international matches during November has meant the side’s World Ranking remains unchanged at 139.
The table’s biggest movers from Oceania are Vanuatu and American Samoa.
Vanuatu has jumped nine spots to 165th in the world, and at the same time has leapfrogged both Fiji and Samoa to claim fifth place in the regional rankings.
American Samoa are the most badly-affected side in the region, dropping 14 places to sit at 193.
The Oceania rankings are now as follows:
1. New Zealand
2. New Caledonia
3. Tahiti
4. Solomon Islands
5. Vanuatu
6. Fiji
7. Samoa
8. Tonga
9. Papua New Guinea
10. American Samoa
11. Cook Islands
Elsewhere in the world, Spain will finish the year at the summit for the fifth time in succession – an achievement which earns them the ‘Team of the Year’ title – followed by Germany, Argentina and Italy (4th, up 1).
The ‘Mover of the Year’ goes to Colombia for the second time since the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking was introduced in 1993. Los Cafeteros finished 2011 in 36th, but thanks to six wins, one draw and only one defeat thereafter – and the 455 points they consequently earned – they end 2012 in fifth.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on January 17 2013.


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