Big Movers of 2004
Copa America winners, Brazil, and runners up, Argentina, took up the top 2 places in the rankings while Greece, who won Euro 2004 by defeating hosts Portugal in the final, finished the year in 4th spot.
Panama ascended the most having successfully negotiated the third round of the World Cup qualifiers with a 3-0 win in St Lucia and a 2-1 victory away to Jamaica. The Panamanians also held their American visitors to a 1-1 draw where they put 3 past El Salvador without reply. A 2-1 friendly win in Guatemala was also noteworthy.
Libya punched above their weight in the World Cup qualifiers, recording a 2-1 home victory over Egypt where they thumped Benin 4-1 and won by a single goal away to Sudan. They also beat Jordan 1-0 in a friendly played in Nigeria.
St Vincent & the Grenadines knocked Nicaragua out of the World Cup qualifiers with a 4-1 home win and sent out shockwaves with a 3-0 win at St Kitts and Nevis having already beaten them 1-0 at home. In the Caribbean qualifiers they did the double over Grenada 3-1 at home and 1-0 away from home. In friendly matches they won 2-1 at St Lucia and 2-0 against their visitors from Martinique.
Yemen enjoyed a 3-1 home win over the U.A.E and drew 1-1 in Thailand in World Cup qualifiers. They also beat Syria 2-1 in a home friendly.
Belarus thumped Latvia 4-1 in a friendly tournament in Cyprus having earlier inflicted a 2-0 loss upon their hosts. The Belarusians returned from a friendly in Turkey with a 2-1 win and in World Cup qualifiers drew 1-1 in Norway and smashed Moldova 4-0 in a home match.
Morocco reached the final of the Africa Cup of Nations beating Nigeria 1-0 and hammering Benin and Mali 4-0 on their way.
Indonesia shocked their Qatari visitors 2-1 in an Asian qualifier and in World Cup qualifiers they sent Turkmenistan back 3-1 losers and won 2-0 away to Sri Lanka. A 3-0 friendly win in Vietnam was also a memorable result.
Norway put 3 past Sweden in a friendly match played in Hong Kong and enjoyed the same result at home to Slovenia in a World Cup qualifier having earlier been victorious 1-0 away to Scotland.
Hungary achieved some amazing results in friendly matches winning 2-0 in Germany and 3-0 in Scotland and thrashing Estonia 5-0 in Thailand.
Bolivia not only enjoyed home wins against Paraguay 2-1 and Peru 1-0 in World Cup qualifiers, but also earned a 2-2 draw against Copa America hosts Peru.
Cameroon moved down the most in the rankings after being knocked out of the Africa Cup of Nations 2-1 by Nigeria having also drawn 1-1 with Algeria. In the World Cup qualifiers they lost 3-2 in Egypt and could only draw 1-1 in Sudan
St Kitts and Nevis fell 3-2 at home to Antigua and Barbuda and 1-0 away to St Vincent and the Grenadines in World Cup qualifiers. They also lost a friendly 1-0 away to Antigua and Barbuda.
Martinique Were held to a goalless draw at home to Guadeloupe and where they also lost 2-0 to Cuba in Caribbean qualifiers. They were also beaten 2-0 in a friendly away to St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Senegal could only draw 0-0 with Burkina Faso in the Africa Cup of Nations where they lost 1-0 to hosts Tunisia. They were also humiliated 3-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Togo.
El Salvador scraped past Bermuda 4-3 on aggregate to finish bottom of their group in the third round of the qualifications for the World Cup with 3-0 defeats at home to Jamaica and away to Panama. They also lost 3-0 and 4-0 at home to Guatemala and Honduras respectively in friendly matches.
Belgium got their World Cup qualifiers off to a poor start at home drawing 1-1 with Lithuania and losing 2-0 to Serbia and Montenegro.
Egypt lost 2-1 to Algeria in the Africa Cup of Nations and by the same scoreline at home to Ivory Coast and away to Libya in World Cup qualifiers.
Latvia suffered some heavy defeats losing 3-0 to the Dutch in the Euros and 4-1 to Belarus in a friendly in Cyprus and another 4-1 in a World Cup qualifier in Slovakia.
Saudi Arabia had a poor Asian Cup finishing bottom of their group with a 2-2 draw against Turkmenistan and defeats 1-0 to Uzbekistan and 2-1 against Iraq.
Luxembourg sank in the rankings mostly due to being taken apart 4-0 at home to minnows Liechtenstein in a World Cup qualifier.
The biggest surprise of the year was Vanuatu's 4-2 wipe-out of New Zealand in a World Cup qualifier played in Australia. Another big shock was Bermuda's 2-0 loss to the British Virgin Islands in a Caribbean Cup qualifier played in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.
Two more countries entered the rankings. The Turks and Caicos Islands moved in at 192nd and East Timor 201st position.