Azkals attain highest FIFA ranking in Philippine football history

The Philippine Azkals made history less than a month ago after beating Tajikistan to qualify for the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, the first time the country has made it to the prestigious tournament.

The historic victory pushed the Philippine football team to a world ranking of 113th, climbing nine spots from its previous ranking of 122 a month ago. The Philippines' wins over Tajikistan and Fiji were taken into consideration in determining the new ranking, according to FIFA.

"We congratulate the Philippine Men's National Team for claiming their highest FIFA ranking to date at 113," said Philippine Football Federation President Mariano Araneta on the PFF's official site. "The team's achievement is a fitting testament to how far Philippine football has improved in a short span and we hope that it will sustain."

"It is another historic milestone for Philippine football," said PFF general secretary Atty. Edwin Gastanes. "It shows that football in the country is on ascendancy brought on by the achievements not just by the Men's team, but by the Women's team as well."

The Azkals, whose previous highest ranking was 115th in the world -- which they reached back in May 2016, was placed in Pot 4 for the 2019 Asia Cup Final Draw on May 4 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.