North Korea back in women's soccer Top 10

Dec. 7, 2012 at 5:57 AM
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NYON, Switzerland, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- North Korea re-entered the Top 10 of the world women's soccer rankings, which again have the United States at No. 1, FIFA said Friday.

The Americans ran their unbeaten streak to 20 games since the last rankings update. The United States went 5-0-2 on a recent "2012 Fan Tribute Tour." The ties were both against No. 2-ranked Germany.

That left the U.S. team with 2,209 ranking points, 38 more than Germany. That is 15 points closer than the August rankings but the United States still extended its run as No. 1 to five years. The Americans have led the quarterly FIFA rankings since March 2008.

North Korea, a consistent Top 10 performer, slipped out of the rankings' top tier after a poor showing at the Olympics but pulled into a tie for ninth with Australia in the latest list. That pushed Italy from 10th to No. 11. Those were the only changes in the Top 10.

After the United States and Germany, Japan, with 2,110 points, is third followed by fourth-ranked Brazil (2,044) and No. 5 France (2,033).

Sweden has 2,021 points for the No. 6 ranking and Canada's total of 2,006 points is worth the seventh spot. England (1,976) is eighth, with Australia and North Korea tied at 1,943. Italy has 1,931 points.

The FIFA world 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 FIFA women's rankings are to be released March 22.

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