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England’s women climb world rankings

WORLD CUP HEARTBREAK: Hope Powell

DESPITE World Cup heartbreak, England have climbed four places to an all-time high of sixth in the FIFA women’s world rankings.

A World Cup quarter-final berth against France, which was lost on a penalty shoot-out, aided England’s rise up the rankings.

So too did victories over the higher-ranked World Cup runners up USA, Sweden and newly crowned world champions Japan inside the last four months.

This is England’s highest-ever position since rankings were introduced for women’s football in August 2003.

USA still top the rankings with deposed world champions Germany remaining in second place and Brazil in third.

Hope Powell’s side are next in action on 17 September when they begin their Euro 2013 qualifying campaign against Serbia.

Their first home qualifier comes just five days later against Slovenia.

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