The teams that made up the top ten in September maintained their positions for the December FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking to ensure that they ring in the new year at the top of the table.
In total, 104 matches were played over the past three months in competitive Women’s football. The majority of these games were focused on continental Olympic qualifying tournaments and qualifying for the 2017 European Championship in the Netherlands.
The only significant points change in the top ten was for England, whose slender three-point increase marked a new all-time top score for the Lionesses while simultaneously narrowing the gap between them and fourth-placed Japan to just four points. Other teams to improve on their best-ever scores included New Zealand (1846), Austria (1730), Costa Rica (1630), South Africa (1431), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1386) and Guatemala (1322).
Just outside the top ten, 12th-placed Netherlands defeated Japan and France in recent international friendlies, gaining 17 points for their efforts. Although the Dutch remain in 12th place, they are now only ten points away from a potential first-ever appearance in the top ten of the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking.
Switzerland broke into the top 20 in the latest ranking thanks largely to an impressive 3-0 away win in Italy, while a little higher-up the table Spain moved from 18th to 14th place.
Malawi was the only nation to re-enter the ranking, while eight nations slid out of the ranking due to prolonged inactivity, reducing the number of ranked countries from 147 to 140.
The next FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking will be published on 25 March 2016.