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19 Oct 2011 12:22
South Africa climbed two places to 49th position in the latest Fifa World Rankings released on Wednesday.
Despite crashing out of the Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers this month, following a goalless draw against Sierra Leone in Nelspruit, Bafana Bafana also rose one place to 8th among African countries.
South Africa will look to climb even further up the global list when they face Côte d’Ivoire in their next match, a friendly encounter at home, on November 12.
Côte d’Ivoire, 19th in the world, are the top-ranked African nation.
Brazil rose two places to fifth in this month’s Fifa rankings, ending a downward trend after hitting an 18-year low in September.
Friendly wins against Argentina, Costa Rica and Mexico were enough to stop the rot for the five-times world champions as coach Mano Menezes attempts to rebuild the team for the 2014 World Cup.
With Brazil hosting the event, a sixth world title is considered an obligation by the media and public, with many even seeing it as a mere formality.
There was no change in the top four. Spain stayed top after beating Czech Republic and Scotland to complete their Euro 2012 qualifying group with a 100% record.
The Netherlands remained second after a 3-2 defeat by Sweden and are followed by Germany and Uruguay, the latter beginning their World Cup qualifying campaign with a win over Bolivia and draw in Paraguay.
Euro 2012 qualifiers Greece and Denmark leapt into the top 10.
Bermuda were the biggest climbers, up 57 places to 132nd thanks mainly to a shock World Cup qualifying win over Trinidad & Tobago.—Sapa, Reuters
Rankings: (September position in brackets)
Portugal (5) and Greece (11) are tied at 8, and Argentina (10) and Denmark (17) both occupy 10th position.
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