• Australia have moved to world number 5 and replaced Japan as Asia's top team (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
The Matildas continue to lead and the pack and have gained the highest ever world ranking for an Australian National Football Team
By
Ann Odong

Source:
Zela
26 Mar 2016 - 12:01 PM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2016 - 12:05 PM

The rise and rise of the Matildas over the past 12 months has continued with Australia claiming the world number 5 position in the latest FIFA rankings.  

It is Australia's highest ever FIFA ranking, men's or women's, and comes on the back of the Matildas winning the recent 2016 AFC Women’s Olympic Qualifiers and qualifying for the Rio 2016 Olympics.  

In a memorable ten days, the team pick up an incredible 50 points and, with Japan and DPR Korea dropping significant points, moved Alen Stajcic's side up four places in the world standings.  

As well as their highest ever world ranking, Australia also claimed the AFC number one spot for the first time; a position Japan had held since May 2010.  

The four wins and one draw in Osaka also saw the Matildas reach their highest ever points total of 2014 - beating their previous best of 1968.

Fellow Rio bound nation China were also the big movers in Asia with the Steel Roses gaining 65 points and 5 places to number 12.

In other rankings news, the USA, Germany and France kept their top three placings while England took advantage of Japan's drop to move up one place into fourth.  

The rankings calculated points from 150 matches played in the Olympic Qualifiers for CONCACAF, UEFA, OFC and the AFC, 2016 Algarve Cup and the new SheBelieves Cup. 

The next FIFA Women’s World Ranking will be published on 24 June 2016.