Nigeria’s Super Falcons maintained top position in the latest FIFA ranking that was released on Friday by the world soccer ruling body, Completesports.com reports.
The African champions however moved one step from 39th to 38th position in the world.
Thomas Dennerby’s ladies took part in the Cyprus Women’s Cup last month where they won two and lost two of the four games they played at the competition.
The Super Falcons are currently in camp ahead of the WAFU Women’s Cup in May and the friendly against Canada scheduled for Spain on April 8.
The West Africans are drawn in Group A along with hosts France, Norway and South Korea for the FIFA Women’s World Cup which begins in June.
The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, Bafana Bafana of South Africa, Black Queens of Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire completed the top five teams in the continent.
Meanwhile, England leapfrogged France into third position in the ranking.
The in-form Lionesses (3rd, up1) swapped places with Les Bleues (4th, down 1) on the back of winning the SheBelieves Cup earlier this month and, in doing so, struck the latest blow in an increasingly long-running battle.
This, in fact, is the fourth successive ranking in which England and France have exchanged positions behind the leading duo of USA (1st, unchanged) and Germany (2nd, unchanged).
Besides the recent friendly tournaments, it has been a fairly quiet period in international women’s football since the ranking’s most recent edition in December 2018.
The result is that the only other change in the top ten is Japan (7th, up 1) overtaking the Netherlands (8th, down 1), largely as a result of the European champions’ poor showing at the Algarve Cup. down the table, Poland (28th, up 6) are the biggest climbers after a surprising run to the Algarve Cup final, while Belgium (20th, up 1) and Portugal (30th, up 2) reached their highest-ever positions.
There was a milestone, too, for the ranking itself. With five teams, including four from Asia, reappearing in the table and only two dropping out, the number of teams ranked has increased from 152 to 155 – an all-time record.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 12 July 2019.
By Adeboye Amosu