France reaches fifth in women's soccer rankings, U.S. still No. 1

Dec. 13, 2013 at 7:47 AM   |   0 comments

NYON, Switzerland, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- France edges back into the Top 5 of the FIFA women's soccer rankings, which are still headed by the United States.

In Friday's update, France matches its highest point in the rankings' history by passing Sweden for the No. 5 spot. The French are just four points back of fourth-ranked Brazil.

This month marks the first time Sweden has been out of the first five of the rankings and, with France four points back and Sweden just 10 behind Brazil, the Brazilians could soon fall from the Top 5 for the first time since June 2007.

No. 2-ranked Germany sliced five points off the U.S. lead for the No. 1 spot but the Americans still have a 72-point advantage over the Germans. The last time the United States wasn't on top of the quarterly FIFA women's rankings was December 2007.

Other changes in the Top 10 have Norway moving from 10th to No. 8, which pushed Australia down one spot to ninth and North Korea to 10th.

The FIFA rankings are determined by points awarded from match results in a three-year period, with more recent games given greater weight. Teams get additional points for playing relatively strong opponents. The next women's rankings update is scheduled for March 28.

The FIFA women's Top 10, listing country and rankings points total

1. United States, 2,228

2. Germany, 2,156

3. Japan, 2,071

4. Brazil, 2,031

5. France, 2,027

6. Sweden, 2,021

7. Canada, 1,978

8. Norway, 1,973

9. Australia, 1,957

10. North Korea, 1,956

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