S. Korea soar in FIFA rankings despite early Asian Cup elimination

February 7, 2019

 South Korea took a huge leap in the latest FIFA rankings released Thursday, despite their early elimination from a recent continental competition.

South Korea jumped 15 spots to tie for 38th place with Iceland.

Coached by Paulo Bento, South Korea fell to Qatar 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates last month. It was the team’s earliest exit from the Asian Cup since 2004.

But before losing to Qatar, South Korea had won all three group matches and defeated Bahrain in the round of 16.

South Korea moved past Australia (No. 42) to become the third-highest ranked team in the AFC, behind Iran (No. 22) and Japan (No. 27).

Qatar, which went on to win the Asian Cup for their first continental title, soared 38 spots to reach No. 55.

In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2019, South Korean players walk off the field at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi after a 1-0 loss to Qatar in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. (Yonhap)

In this file photo from Jan. 25, 2019, South Korean players walk off the field at Zayed Sports City Stadium in Abu Dhabi after a 1-0 loss to Qatar in the quarterfinals of the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup. (Yonhap)

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