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Iran jumps five places in FIFA rankings, renamed best Asian team

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's players pose for the team photo prior to the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B football match between Iran and Portugal at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia, on June 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

The Iran men’s national football team has climbed five places in the August edition of the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) rankings to land in the 32nd spot in the world, and regain the throne of being the best Asian squad.

According to the latest monthly rankings released by the world’s soccer governing body, the Iranian team, domestically known as Team Melli, accumulated 1,471 points.

Other Asian teams were Australia, which plunged seven spots and claimed the 43rd slot in the latest FIFA rankings with 1,431 points, followed by Japan and South Korea, which landed in the 55th and 57th places respectively with 1,392 and 1,387 points.

Japan climbed six positions in the global rankings of national soccer teams, while South Korea stayed put.

France moved up six places to be named the top-ranked soccer team in the world, with 1,726 points.

Belgium earned 1,723 points to win the second position, while third-place Brazil collected 1,657 points. Croatia climbed 16 places and stood fourth with 1,643 points.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) is marked by Iran's forward Karim Ansarifard during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B football match between Iran and Portugal at the Mordovia Arena in Saransk, Russia, on June 25, 2018. (Photo by AFP)

On June 25, the Iran men’s national football team failed to advance to the 2018 World Cup knockout stage, however it wrote history by earning four points for the first time in the quadrennial international sporting event.

Iran finished 1-1 with the Portugal national football team, nicknamed A Selecção, at the Mordovia Arena.

Team Melli did not allow Portugal to break through until the 45th minute, when Ricardo Quaresma broke the deadlock with a stunning goal.

The 34-year-old’s right-footed shot curled the ball past Alireza Beiranvand.

Eight minutes into the second half, Cristiano Ronaldo could have doubled Portugal’s lead, when his team was awarded a penalty by video assistant referee (VAR). Beiranvand brilliantly saved Ronaldo’s penalty though.

Iran was awarded a penalty kick after a VAR review determined that Portugal’s Cedric Soares had committed a handball in the box in the stoppage time.

Karim Ansarifard buried the ball into the upper right corner of the goal.

Mehdi Taremi could have jabbed Iran’s second goal, but he missed his marvelous chance in front of the goal.

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