Japan hit all-time high, Canada go sixth
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With exactly 100 days to go until the kick-off of the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011™, there has been no shortage of movement on the latest FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking, which has mainly been caused by numerous high-calibre friendly matches. The top trio of the USA, winners of the Algarve Cup 2011, Germany and Brazil remains unchanged, however.

Japan (4th, up 1), meanwhile, have achieved their best position since the introduction of the ranking in 2003 by overtaking Sweden (5th, down 1), thanks to winning their encounter with the Scandinavians in the Algarve Cup match for third place. Canada (6th, up 3) are on an even more impressive run after triumphing in the other prestigious tournament held in March, the Cyprus Cup, and beating England in the process.

Two other teams who have qualified for the World Cup suffered setbacks however, with Korea DPR (8th, down 2) losing ground after not playing any matches and Norway (9th, down 2) finishing only fifth in Portugal. England are non-movers in tenth position, while Australia (11th, up 1) have leapfrogged Italy (12th, down 1), the highest-ranked team not to have qualified for Germany.

The other teams who will be lining up in Germany are Mexico (22nd), New Zealand (24th), Nigeria (27th), Colombia (31st) and of course African runners-up Equatorial Guinea (61st, up 1), who are now anything but an unknown quantity after their surge up the ranking in 2010.

Other teams who have made gains in terms of points and ranks include the Netherlands (14th), Korea Republic and Iceland (joint 16th), with the Icelanders profiting from their surprise run to the final of the Algarve Cup.

The Netherlands and Korea Republic, together with Spain (18th), Scotland (23rd) and Colombia (31st) are currently in their highest-ever position, while the highest climbers are two African teams, Cameroon (66th) and Tunisia (76th), who have each moved up six places.