The year started with several friendly matches leading up to the Africa Cup of Nations and the February 6th international day. Puerto Rico started the year well, with 2-0 and 1-0 wins away to Bermuda followed by a 2-2 draw at home to Trinidad & Tobago who continued to be disappointing, as did Kuwait who played 5 matches including a 2-0 loss to Singapore before losing a World Cup qualifier by the same score line. In other qualifiers, Syria managed a 0-0 draw in Iran who have yet to score this year, while Asian champions Iraq drew their home match against China 1-1 on neutral soil. North Korea and Bahrain registered 1-0 wins away to Jordan and Oman respectively. In CONCACAF Belize enjoyed a 3-1 win over St Kitts & Nevis in Guatemala, while Netherlands Antilles returned from Nicaragua with a 1-0 win and St Lucia suffered a surprising 2-1 defeat away to the Turks & Caicos Islands.
In some of the friendly matches Poland beat the Czech Republic 2-0 in Cyprus, while Croatia lost their unbeaten home record 3-0 at the hands of the Netherlands. Latvia had an impressive 3-1 win away to Georgia, and Honduras scored twice without reply at home to Paraguay.
Germany were to highest team in the Rankings to move after their 3-0 win away to Austria while Norway enjoyed the same result at home to Norway.