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Kuala Lumpur: Asian women’s football has a lot of to be proud of in 2016 and the year will now end with three teams – Australia, Japan and DPR Korea – in the top 10 after the latest FIFA Women’s World Ranking was released on Friday.

Australia are the top Asian side in the world at sixth having improved their ranking by one place from the previous release. They reached the quarter-finals of the Rio Olympics where they lost 7-6 on penalties after they bravely held hosts Brazil 0-0 at the end of regulation time. The year before, Alen Stajcic’s side also made the quarter-finals at the FIFA Women’s World Cup held in Canada.

Japan, champions of the 2011 Women’s World Cup and runners-up in the 2015 edition, as well as the 2014 AFC Asian Women’s Cup winners, trail close behind in seventh spot, also up one spot from the previous rankings. Their U-17 team were the runners-up in the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women World Cup in Jordan while their U-20 compatriots won third place in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup also this year.

DPR Korea ended the year in tenth spot, having achieved a momentous milestone in 2016 by becoming the only nation to have won both the FIFA U-17 and U-20 Women’s World Cups in the same year.

World’s top 10 rankings:
1st: USA
2nd: Germany
3rd: France
4th: Canada
5th: England
6th: Australia
7th: Japan

8th: Sweden
9th: Brazil
10th: DPR Korea

Top 10 Asian teams in the world rankings:
6th: Australia
7th: Japan
10th: DPR Korea
13th: China PR
18th: Korea Republic
30th: Thailand
32nd: Vietnam
39th: Chinese Taipei
42nd: Uzbekistan
43rd: Myanmar 

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