Japan ranked No. 1

Kyodo News

Newly crowned Asian champion Japan is No. 1 in the rankings for the region’s 2014 World Cup qualifiers first-round draw taking place on March 30, the Asian Football Confederation announced on its official website Tuesday.

The rankings are based on the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa and the Asian qualifying rounds for the main tournament. The final number of entries will be confirmed later by world soccer’s governing body FIFA, the AFC said.

Japan, which reached the second round of the World Cup for the first time on foreign soil last summer, was followed in second place by South Korea.