Korea DPR climb ninth, Equatorial Guinea fly
© Getty Images

The last FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking of 2012 reveals that Olympic champions USA have once again comfortably held on to their lead on the back of their unbeaten run, which currently stands at more than 20 games. Their closest challengers, Germany, were unable to make up much ground in their two clashes with the Americans in October, with both finishing all square.

Elsewhere, Italy’s joy at returning to the top ten for the first time since 2006 was also short-lived, as the Azzurre (11th, down 1) have relinquished their place to Korea DPR (9th, up 2), who recovered after slipping out of the top ten for the first time. Vietnam (30th, up 1) are another Asian team with the wind in their sails, having beaten Myanmar in the final of the AFF Women’s Championship 2012 to not only avenge their defeat by the same opponents in 2011 but also to climb into the top 30 for the fifth time.

The biggest movers in December, however, are the new African champions, Equatorial Guinea (54th, up 8), with the team that played in the FIFA Women’s World Cup Germany 2011 recently lifting the coveted trophy for the second time in the association’s history. That victory has seen them overtake beaten finalists South Africa (56th) to move into their highest-ever position since the launch of the women’s world ranking.

Despite their narrow defeat in the play-offs for the UEFA Women’s EURO 2013, Austria (32nd, up 3) are also higher than ever before and have gone from strength to strength in 2012, climbing from 39th to 32nd.

Meanwhile Bhutan (128th, new) are included in the ranking for the first-ever time despite losing their first three matches.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 22 March 2013.

November statistics

Leader

USA (unchanged)

Moves into top ten

Korea DPR (9th, up 2)

Moves out of top ten

Italy (11th, down 1)

Matches played in total

121

Most matches played

South Africa (8)

Biggest move by points

Equatorial Guinea (up 58 points)

Biggest move by ranks

Equatorial Guinea (54th, up 8)

Biggest drop by points

Nigeria (down 53 points)

Biggest drop by ranks

Senegal (86th, down 7)

Newly ranked teams

Nepal (108th, 1,095 points)

Sri Lanka (115th, 965 points)

Pakistan (121st, 937 points)

Afghanistan (124th, 899 points)

Bhutan (128th, 785 points)

Teams that are no longer ranked

2 – Angola, Georgia