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FIFA World Cup History

Mexico 1986 FIFA World Cup

1986 World Cup Betting

Year:1986

Participants: 24

Countries: Algeria, Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Hungary, Iraq, Italy, Mexico, Morocco, Northern Ireland, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Scotland, South Korea, Spain, Uruguay, USSR, West Germany

Championship: Argentina 3, Germany 2

Top goal scorer: Gary Lineker, England (6)

MVP: Diego Maradona, Argentina

The 1986 World Cup will be remembered for two things: Mexico becoming the host after Colombia couldn't fulfill its obligation, and Argentina's Diego Maradona putting on a performance so dominating observers said it rivaled the great Pele.

FIFA decided to give the 13th World Cup to Mexico despite serious efforts by the United States, Canada and a possible Holland-Belgium combination. But, in the end, Mexico would be the site, becoming the first country to host the event twice. . . .

The tournament was a testament to the game of soccer. All of the usual suspects -- Italy, Brazil, Argentina, France and West Germany -- showed the billions of people worldwide who watched on television what excitement is all about.

One of the many bright spots of the tournament was the quarterfinal match between Brazil and France. Played before 50,000 spectators, France defeated the previously unbeaten Brazil team 4-3 in penalty shots after the game had ended 1-1. . . .

One of the most dubious goals in World Cup history also came in the quarterfinals, in a game between England and Argentina. Maradona and English goalkeeper Peter Shilton arrived at the ball at the same time in the air, and Maradona punched the ball in the net with his hand. Later, Maradona would say "the hand of God" helped him score the goal.

But Maradona also scored one of the greatest goals in World Cup history in the same game. Taking the ball on Argentina's side of the field, he wove in and out of the English defense before putting a delicately placed shot past Shilton in the corner of the net. . . .

In the semifinals, Maradona again showed why he was so dominating. Playing before more than 110,000 spectators at Azteca Stadium, Maradona netted two goals in the second half to get Argentina past Belgium 2-0.

In the other semifinal, West Germany defeated a worn out France team 2-0 and was on target to win its third World Cup. . . .

The finals alone were viewed by more than 2 billion people worldwide on television. At the 22-minute mark of the first half, Argentina took a 1-0 lead and would carry that into halftime.

Argentina scored 10 minutes into the second half for a 2-0 lead and just had to hang on for the win. But Germany wouldn't die. Two quick goals had the score knotted, and people were bracing for overtime.

But, like he was many times before in the tournament, Maradona was the difference. He took advantage of a West Germany mistake and fed a perfect pass to a streaking Jorge Burruchaga, giving Argentina a 3-2 win and the World Cup.

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