Caltex Socceroos ranking focus: AFC

The Caltex Socceroos were big movers in the FIFA World Rankings this month but they still aren’t the leading nation in the Asian Confederation.

Ange Postecoglou’s troops jumped a massive 12 spots when the rankings were released on Thursday to sit at no.45 in the world.

But despite winning the AFC Asian Cup last year and making a perfect start to this phase of FIFA World Cup qualifying, Australia remain second highest in the AFC.

The Socceroos have jumped inside the World top 50.

Iran currently lead the way for the Asian nations at no.37, eight spots above the Caltex Socceroos.

Australia’s back-to-back wins over Iraq and UAE earlier this month though did send them past a few of the AFC rivals.

Korea Republic dropped to third to be no.47 in the world, Uzbekistan went up six spots to 49, while the Caltex Socceroos next opponents Saudi Arabia (52) jumped up nine spots this month.

Japan dropped seven spots to 56 to be Asia’s sixth best nation, while UAE (66), China (78), Qatar (85) and Jordan (86) round out Asia’s top 10.

Japan were stunned 2-1 by UAE in their opening World Cup Qualifier.

The Caltex Socceroos ranking is the highest position they have been since the Green and Gold were up to 36th in 2012.

But it’s a far cry from where Australia sat in late 2014, when they were the 10th highest-ranked nation in Asia at a lowly 102 in the world.

That came in a year where the Caltex Socceroos dropped a total of 43 places, where the side won just one of 11 matches, including three losses at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

Of course, that all changed in January of 2015 as Postecoglou guided the side to an historic AFC Asian Cup triumph on home soil.

That result saw the side jump up 37 spots from 100 to 63 and it’s been a steady rise since then.