For many, Thailand's footballing feats may not be as renowned as their scenery coastline landscapes. However, the south-east Asians bravely won bronze at the 1972 AFC Asian Cup and represented Asia at two Olympic Games in Melbourne 1956 and Mexico 1968, achievements which had once established them among the continent's elite.
Although they have since stayed away from Asian limelight, the War Elephants remain among the region's most successful teams, having won the AFF Suzuki Cup three times. The 2010 campaign saw them crash out in the group phase, but under German Winfried Schafer, Thailand entered this year’s ninth edition determined to put aside that disappointment.
And they lived up to the expectations as co-hosts, cruising all the way through to their sixth final only to be edged out by Singapore 3-2 over two legs. Despite this, they were rewarded for their smooth run en-route to the final with a 16-place climb up the FIFA/Coca Cola World Ranking to 136.
The current ranking is far from their highest standing of 43 in the global pecking order in September 1998. However, the double-digit progress saw them become Asia's best movers this month and restore their place among the continent's top 20.
Even more notable was the fact that the achievement came in the wake of their failed qualifying campaign for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™. The Thais did impress in the early stages of continental qualifying which included routing Oman 3-0 and holding Saudi Arabia to a goalless draw. However, they fell short when it mattered most, losing their last three games to narrowly miss a place in the final round.
Calculation of points for a single match
P = M x I x T x C
M: points for Match result
Teams gain 3 points for a victory, 1 point for a draw and 0 points for a defeat. In a penalty shoot-out, the winning team gains 2 points and the losing team gains 1 point.
I: Importance of match
Friendly match (including small competitions): I = 1.0
FIFA World Cup™ qualifier or confederation-level qualifier: I = 2.5
Confederation-level final competition or FIFA Confederations Cup: I = 3.0
FIFA World Cup™ final competition: I = 4.0
T: strength of opposing Team
The strength of the opponents is based on the formula: 200 – the ranking position of the opponents.As an exception to this formula, the team at the top of the ranking is always assigned the value 200 and the teams ranked 150th and below are assigned a minimum value of 50. The ranking position is taken from the opponents’ ranking in the most recently published FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking.
C: strength of Confederation
When calculating matches between teams from different confederations, the mean value of the confederations to which the two competing teams belong is used. The strength of a confederation is calculated on the basis of the number of victories by that confederation at the last three FIFA World Cup™ competitions (see following page). Their values are as follows:
|Points Last Month|
|Points outside Ranking calculation|