Vietnam sit on top of ASEAN football in 2019 hinh anh 1Vietnam end 2019 standing on the top of Southeast Asia football (Photo: VietnamPlus)

Hanoi (VNA) -
Vietnam ends 2019 as the Southeast Asian No 1 in football, following the December rankings released by FIFA on December 19. 

Vietnam gain 1,258 points to rank 94th in the world, marking their third time in a row on top of the region.

They are followed by Thailand at No 113, and the Philippines at No 124.

The squad of Korean head coach Park Hang-seo came second at the King’s Cup in Thailand and has achieved outstanding results so far at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers to obtain this position.

However, this is not the best ranking for Vietnam, as they held the 84th place in September 1998.

In Asia, Vietnam place No 14 with Japan, Iran and the Republic of Korea being the continent’s top three.

Belgium are the world's strongest with 1,765 points. France and Brazil are second and third, respectively.

Vietnam finished second at the King’s Cup 2019 in Thailand after losing 4-5 to Curacao in penalty shootouts on June 8.

On FIFA rankings at the time, Curacao stood at the 82nd place, while Vietnam were ranked 98th. Vietnam gave everything they had against a superior team and are able to keep their heads high. 

Previously, Vietnam secured its last-gasp victory against Thailand in the opener of the football tournament after a header by forward Nguyen Anh Duc following a corner kick by midfielder Luong Xuan Truong found the net of its arch rival.

King’s Cup is a friendly four-side competition held annually. This year, Vietnam, India, Curacao and Thailand competed from June 5-8.

The King’s Cup is a friendly tournament but this year it falls during the FIFA international break, meaning it will count towards teams' FIFA rankings – scores that are used to determine seedings at big tournaments.

In the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian qualifiers, Vietnam are the only in Group G undefeated and top the table with 11 points after five matches.

They are pooled with regional rivals comprising of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, along with group’s favourites the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Vietnam drew two matches with Thailand, while defeated both Malaysia and the UAE with a scoreboard of 1-0 at their home turf, and Indonesia 3-1 in an away match in Bali tourist island.

In the 2019 Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Asian Cup in January, Vietnam shocked the continent by advancing to the quarter-final in their comeback to this tournament after 12 years, their best ever result.

Vietnam lost 0-1 to Japan the first quarterfinal match. However, they were still heaped with praises from fans and commentators for a game described as one of their best so far.

Vietnam advanced to the quarter-finals of the tournament with pride following a breath-taking shootout with Jordan. They secured the last ticket to the knockout round of the AFC Asian Cup 2019 after narrowly qualifying over Lebanon on fair-play points.

Both Vietnam and Lebanon had three points after three group matches and the same goal difference of -1.However, Vietnam accumulated five yellow cards as compared to seven of Lebanon. 

In 2020, Vietnam will take part in several tournaments. 

The national team hopes to defend their AFF Cup title, advance to the third qualification of the 2022 World Cup and win a berth in the finals of the 2023 Asian Cup. The U19's duty is to qualify for the U20 World Cup in 2021.

But all eyes are on their first tournament of the year which will be the AFC U23 Championship in Thailand next month./.