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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Singapore, Malaysia drop sharply in FIFA rankings after winless 2017

Singapore will hope to finish strong in the Asian Cup qualifiers following quite a disappointing 2017 campaign.

After a winless 2017, Singapore and Malaysia fell a combined 15 spots in the latest FIFA rankings, to sit below Asian minnows like Laos and Chinese Taipei.

Singapore tumbled 11 places to 173rd, while Malaysia are just above them in 170th after sliding four rungs.

Both teams are in danger of failing to advance to the 2019 AFC Asian Cup after defeat-riddled qualifying campaigns so far.

Singapore have garnered only two points from four matches in Group E, while Malaysia are on one point after two losses and a draw to begin their Group B qualifying.

Malaysia's plight is especially disappointing, given that ex-Portgual and Saudi Arabia boss Nelo Vingada arrived to great fanfare in May. However, he has overseen four losses and a lucky 1-1 draw at home to Hong Kong -- the visitors missed a last-minute penalty on Sept. 5 -- to see him come under fire from critics.

Malaysia are now due to play three tough matches against North Korea (home and away) and Lebanon (away), although the game against the Koreans is Pyongyang has yet to be confirmed after being rescheduled three times.

Southeast Asia's top-ranked side are Philippines, who rose seven spots to 116th, while Vietnam climbed nine rungs to 123rd. Reigning AFF Suzuki Cup champions Thailand are 138th, down from 137th, with Indonesia 165th.

Elsewhere in Asia, Iran remain top at 34th, but Australia (43rd, up seven places) have leapfrogged Japan (44th, down four). China (57th, up five) are now above South Korea (62nd, down 11), followed by Saudi Arabia (63rd), United Arab Emirates (72nd), Uzbekistan (76th), Iraq (80th), Palestine (84th) and Qatar (97th).

After qualifying for the 2019 Asian Cup, India rose two spots to 105th, while Lebanon, who are on the brink of securing their participation, rocketed up 15 places to 100th.

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