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No changes at the top of FIFA Women's World Rankings

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The last FIFA Women's World Ranking of 2012 reveals that Olympic champions the USA have once again comfortably held on to their lead on the back of their unbeaten run, which currently stands at more than 20 games. Their closest challengers, Germany, were unable to make up much ground in their two clashes with the Americans in October, with both encounters finishing all-square.

Elsewhere, Italy's joy at returning to the top ten for the first time since 2006 was also short-lived, as the Azzurre (11th, down 1) have relinquished their place to Korea DPR (9th, up 2), who are now back among the top ten teams after slipping out of the top ten for the first time. Vietnam (30th, up 1) are another Asian team with the wind in their sails, having beaten Myanmar in the final of the AFF Women's Championship 2012 to not only avenge their defeat by the same opponents in 2011 but also to climb into the top 30 for the fifth time.

The biggest movers in December, however, are the new African champions, Equatorial Guinea (54th, up 8), with the team that played in the Women's World Cup in 2011 recently lifting the coveted trophy for the second time in the association's history. That victory has seen them overtake beaten finalists South Africa (56th) to move into their highest-ever position since the launch of the women's world ranking.

Despite their narrow defeat in the play-offs for the UEFA Women's EURO 2013, Austria (32nd, up 3) are also higher than ever before and have gone from strength to strength in 2012, climbing from 39th to 32nd.

Meanwhile Bhutan (128th, new) are included in the ranking for the first-ever time despite losing their last three matches.

The next FIFA Women's World Ranking will be published on 22 March 2013.

Ranking 7 December 2012:

Rank

Team

+/- Ranking
Aug - Dec
 

Points

+/- Points
Aug - Dec

Rank
end of 2011

1

USA

0

2209

-12

1

2

Germany

0

2171

3

2

3

Japan

0

2110

0

3

4

Brazil

0

2044

0

4

5

France

0

2033

12

6

6

Sweden

0

2021

2

5

7

Canada

0

2006

0

7

8

England

0

1976

6

8

9

Australia

0

1943

-5

10

9

Korea DPR

2

1943

0

9

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