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Sweden pip World Cup winners Spain to women’s top spot

Malta remain in 86th position, last played in July

Sweden jumped to the top of FIFA’s women’s rankings released on Friday, keeping newly-crowned World Cup winners Spain in second place.

The Swedes were beaten in the semi-finals by Spain, who went on to beat England 1-0 in the final in Sydney with a first-half goal from Olga Carmona to win the trophy for the first time.

Sweden won the third-place playoff against host nation Australia.

Spain did rise four places in the rankings and FIFA said they could have even clinched the number one ranking if they had not lost 4-0 to Japan in their final group stage game.

Beaten finalists England are fourth behind the USA, who crashed out of the World Cup at the hands of Sweden in the last 16, the earliest the Americans have ever departed from the tournament.

Germany, meanwhile, paid the price for their surprise elimination in the group phase by dropping four positions to sixth place.

Malta, who last played in July in a friendly match against World Cup participants Haiti, remain in 86th position.

Manuela Tesse’s team will return in action in September when they make debut in the newly-launched Women’s Nations League when they take on Latvia and Moldova.

FIFA rankings (top 10 only)

1. Sweden 2069.17 pts.

2. Spain 2051.84.

3. USA 2051.21. 

4. England 2030.14. 

5. France 2004.17. 

6. Germany 1987.67.

7. Netherlands 1984.5. 

8. Japan 1961.35. 

9. Brazil 1949.41.

10. Canada 1944.84.

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