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Football News - 2002-03-20


A 1-0 win over the U.S. Soccer team last month has helped lift Italy's national team up two places to fourth in the International Football Federation world rankings.

The top three teams remained the same from last month - World and European champions France followed by Argentina and Brazil. Colombia is in fifth place while Portugal dropped two places to sixth in the world ahead of Spain. Mexico is ranked eighth followed by the Netherlands.

Germany moved up two places to 10th in the world while England dropped out of the top 10 to 12th place. The United States remains 13th in the rankings.

The Israeli football club Hapoel Tel Aviv looks to eliminate AC Milan of Italy when the two clubs meet Thursday in a UEFA Cup quarterfinal second leg match in Milan's San Siro Stadium.

Hapoel, the first-ever Israeli team to reach the final eight of the tournament, scored a 1-0 win over the five-time European Champions from Milan last week. That match was played in Cyprus because of security concerns in Tel Aviv.

Another Italian club, Inter Milan, visits Spain's Valencia after the two clubs played to a 1-1 draw in the first-leg quarterfinal. Should both Inter and AC Milan lose, there would be no Italian clubs in either the Champions League or the UEFA Cup tournaments.

The other two matches are equally close, with the Dutch clubs Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven facing off after playing to a 1-1 draw last week. The German side Borussia Dortmund played the Czech club Slovan Liberec to a scoreless draw in their first leg match. The Germans host the Czechs Thursday.

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