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Football Ferns climb the ranks

New Zealand’s untouchable form during the OFC Women’s Nations Cup, coupled with draws against Korea Republic and top-ten ranked England in the Peace Queen Cup saw them rise one place, extending their lead as the top-ranked Oceania nation.
The Ferns’ improved rank is built on the back of the team’s highest-ever ranking points total (1764) since FIFA began publishing the list in July 2003. New Zealand’s highest ranking is 21.
The FIFA women’s world rankings are calculated using a different formula than the equivalent men’s rankings – which use the weighted average of the last four years’ matches – and movements up or down the rankings are less dramatic.
Globally, 159 FIFA Women’s World Cup qualifying matches were played during the recent ranking period with a number of teams securing the bigger prize of qualification to the world’s largest sporting event for women.
Host nation Germany qualified automatically but Asia’s early qualifiers Australia, Japan and North Korea were joined by England, France, Norway and Sweden from Europe.
New Zealand were the ninth team to qualify, followed by Canada and surprise package Mexico who toppled World No 1 USA on their way to the CONCACAF final.
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea booked Africa’s two spots while Brazil and Colombia progressed through South America.
The winner of the final spot in the 16-nation tournament, which runs from June 26 to July 17, will be determined on Sunday (NZT) when USA entertain Italy in the second leg of an intercontinental playoff in Bridgeview, Illinois. USA hold a 1-0 from the first leg in Padova, Italy.
Story courtesy of New Zealand Football.
For the latest news visit www.nzfootball.co.nz

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