Mexico 1986 World Cup Finals

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Yucatan, Mexico
Yucatan by Jimmy Baum on Unsplash.

Mexico - Hosted the thirteenth World Cup, in 1986.

The Ball is Round Football Index: World Cup Finals: Mexico 1986.

Mexico Flag

In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition 16 years previously, in 1970.

Colombia were the original choice as hosts but dropped out in 1983, for financial reasons.

World Cup History - Mexico 1986

Mexico was hit by an earthquake, killing 20,000 people, before the finals but as the stadiums were not affected, the tournament went ahead as scheduled.

The two-round, group format, used in Spain 82, was dropped in favour of a last 16 knockout system for the winners and runners-up of the six first-round groups; along with the best four, third-placed teams.

This meant that only eight teams went home early: Algeria, Canada, Hungary, Iraq, Northern Ireland, Portugal, Scotland and South Korea.

The enthusiasm of the Mexican fans was contagious as they brought the 'Mexican Wave' to the watching world. Unfortunately, for the host nation, the team were held (0:0) in the quarter-finals, by West Germany and lost out on penalties; only managing to convert one penalty, in response to West Germany's four.

Enough about the losers, the winners of the tournament were Argentina; inspired by Diego Maradona (5 goals), who helped knock England out at the quarter-final stage with his legendary 'Hand of God' act of cheating. To make up for it, the soon-to-be cocaine addict scored a superb goal against Belgium, in the semi-finals.

The West Germans, once again, ended up the beaten finalists (3rd time) as Argentina celebrated a (3:2) final victory and their second spell as World Cup champions.

24 Countries Competed at Mexico 1986

Algeria Algeria
Group 4 (1:1) (0:1) (0:3).

Argentina Argentina
Group 1 (3:1) (1:1) (2:0); Second Round (1:0); Quarter-finals (2:1); Semi-finals (2:0)
Winner (3:2).

Belgium Belgium
Group 2 (1:2) (2:1) (2:2); Second Round (4:3 aet); Quarter-finals; (1:1 aet) (5:4 pens); Semi-finals (0:2); Third place (2:4 aet).

Brazil Brazil
Group 4 (1:0) (1:0) (3:0); Second Round (4:0); Quarter-finals; (1:1 aet) (3:4 pens).

Bulgaria Bulgaria
Group 1 (1:1) (1:1) (0:2); Second Round (0:2).

Canada Canada
Group 3 (0:1) (0:2) (0:2).

Denmark Denmark
Group 5 (1:0) (6:1) (2:0); Second Round (1:5).

England England
Group 6 (0:1) (0:0) (3:0); Second Round (3:0); Quarter-finals (1:2).

France France
Group 3 (1:0) (1:1) (3:0); Second Round (2:0); Quarter-finals (1:1 aet) (4:3 pens); Semi-finals (0:2); Third place (4:2 aet).

Hungary Hungary
Group 3 (0:6) (2:0) (0:3).

Iraq Iraq
Group 2 (0:1) (1:2) (0:1).

Italy Italy
Group 1 (1:1) (1:1) (3:2); Second Round (0:2).

Mexico Mexico
Group 2 (2:1) (1:1) (1:0); Second Round (2:0); Quarter-finals (0:0 aet) (1:4 pens).

Morocco Morocco
Group 6 (0:0) (0:0) (3:1); Second Round (0:1)

Northern Ireland Northern Ireland
Group 4 (1:1) (1:2) (0:3).

Paraguay Paraguay
Group 2 (1:0) (1:1) (2:2); Second Round (0:3).

Poland Poland
Group 6 (0:0) (1:0) (0:3); Second Round (0:4).

Portugal Portugal
Group 6 (1:0) (0:1) (1:3).

Scotland Scotland
Group 5 (0:1) (1:2) (0:0).

South Korea South Korea
Group 1 (1:3) (1:1) (2:3).

Spain Spain
Group 4 (0:1) (2:1) (3:0); Second Round (5:1); Quarter-finals (1:1 aet) (4:5 pens).

Uruguay Uruguay
Group 5 (1:1) (1:6) (0:0); Second Round (0:1).

Russia USSR
Group 3 (6:0) (1:1) (2:0); Second Round (3:4 aet).

Germany West Germany
Group 5 (1:1) (2:1) (0:2); Second Round (1:0); Quarter-finals (0:0 aet) (4:1 pens); Semi-finals (2:0); Finalist (2:3).

First Round - Group Stage

Group 1

31st May
Mexico City: Bulgaria vs Italy (1:1)

2nd June
Mexico City: Argentina vs South Korea (3:1)

5th June
Mexico City: South Korea vs Bulgaria (1:1)
Puebla: Italy vs Argentina (1:1)

10th June
Mexico City: Argentina vs Bulgaria (2:0)
Puebla: Italy vs South Korea (3:2)

Argentina, Italy and Bulgaria make it to the Last 16.

Group 2

3rd June
Mexico City: Mexico vs Belgium (2:1)

4th June
Toluca: Paraguay vs Iraq (1:0)

7th June
Mexico City: Mexico vs Paraguay (1:1)

8th June
Toluca: Belgium vs Iraq (2:1)

11th June
Mexico City: Mexico vs Iraq (1:0)
Toluca: Paraguay vs Belgium (2:2)

Mexico, Paraguay and Belgium make it to the Last 16.

Group 3

1st June
Leon: France vs Canada (1:0)

2nd June
Irapuato: USSR vs Hungary (6:0)

5th June
Leon: France vs USSR (1:1)

6th June
Irapuato: Hungary vs Canada (2:0)

9th June
Irapuato: USSR vs Canada (2:0)
Leon: France vs Hungary (3:0)

USSR and France make it to the Last 16.

Group 4

1st June
Guadalajara: Brazil vs Spain (1:0)

3rd June
Guadalajara: Algeria vs Northern Ireland (1:1)

6th June
Guadalajara: Brazil vs Algeria (1:0)

7th June
Guadalajara: Spain vs Northern Ireland (2:1)

12th June
Guadalajara: Brazil vs Northern Ireland (3:0)
Monterrey: Spain vs Algeria (3:0)

Brazil and Spain make it to the Last 16.

Group 5

4th June
Nezahualcoyotl: Denmark vs Scotland (1:0)
Queretaro: Uruguay vs West Germany (1:1)

8th June
Nezahualcoyotl: Denmark vs Uruguay (6:1)
Queretaro: West Germany vs Scotland (2:1)

13th June
Nezahualcoyotl: Scotland vs Uruguay (0:0)
Queretaro: Denmark vs West Germany (2:0)

Denmark, West Germany and Uruguay make it to the Last 16.

Group 6

2nd June
Monterrey: Morocco vs Poland (0:0)

3rd June
Monterrey: Portugal vs England (1:0)

6th June
Monterrey: England vs Morocco (0:0)

7th June
Monterrey: Poland vs Portugal (1:0)

11th June
Guadalajara: Morocco vs Portugal (3:1)
Monterrey: England vs Poland (3:0)

Morocco, England and Poland make it to the Last 16.

Second Round - The Last 16

15th June
Leon: Belgium vs USSR (4:3 aet)
Mexico City: Mexico vs Bulgaria (2:0)

16th June
Guadalajara: Brazil vs Poland (4:0)
Puebla: Argentina vs Uruguay (1:0)

17th June
Mexico City: France vs Italy (2:0)
Monterrey: West Germany vs Morocco (1:0)

18th June
Mexico City: England vs Paraguay (3:0)
Queretaro: Spain vs Denmark (5:1)

Quarter-Finals - 21st/22nd June, 1986

21st June
Guadalajara: France vs Brazil (1:1 aet) (4:3 pens)

Monterrey: West Germany vs Mexico (0:0 aet) (4:1 pens)

Mexico City: Argentina vs England (2:1)

Puebla: Belgium vs Spain (1:1 aet) (5:4 pens)

Semi-Finals - 25th June, 1986

Guadalajara: West Germany vs France (2:0)

Mexico City: Argentina vs Belgium (2:0)

Third Place - 28th June, 1986

Puebla: France vs Belgium (4:2 aet)

1986 World Cup Final
29th June:
Argentina vs West Germany (3:2)
Mexico City.

How many appearances each country has made in the World Cup Finals.

World Cup Finals

Uruguay 1930:
Uruguay trailed Argentina at half-time (1:2) but replied with three goals in the second half; to win the first ever World Cup Final (4-2) on July 30th, 1930.

Italy 1934:
Italy were one of the countries who missed out on the vote to host the first World Cup but managed to win the prestigious golden trophy for the home fans.

France 1938:
The third World Cup was held in Europe for a second time, although Germany had annexed Austria, and Spain was in civil turmoil.

Brazil 1950:
Although no cup-final as such, Uruguay and Brazil went into their final game with the winner guaranteed to be champions; a draw would be enough for Brazil.

Switzerland 1954:
The fifth World Cup tournament produced a record number of goals, including a 7:5 encounter between Austria and Switzerland in Lausanne.

Sweden 1958:
Brazil presented a 17 year-old Pele to the world; who went on to claim a hat-trick in Brazil's 5:2 semi-final win over France and bag another two in the final.

Chile 1962:
Czechoslovakia overcame Hungary in the quarter-finals and Yugoslavia in the semis, while Brazil took care of England and the host nation, Chile.

England 1966:
Geoff Hurst scored a hat-trick, in the final against West Germany, as England triumphed in a thrilling game watched by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Mexico 1970:
1970 belonged to Pelé, who earned his third World Cup winners' medal when Brazil got their hands on the Jules Rimet Cup.... for keeps.

W. Germany 1974:
Johan Cruyff was the player of the tournament as total football became the buzzword of the day, even though Holland lost to West Germany in the 1974 final.

Argentina 1978:
Holland contested the 1978 World Cup Final, in Argentina, for the second time in a row. As in West Germany, they again finished runners-up; to the hosts.

Spain 1982:
The Spain 82 World Cup finals increased to 24 teams and the format was changed to have two group stages, with four second-round groups of three.

Mexico 1986:
In 1986, Mexico became the first nation to stage the World Cup Finals for a second time; having only staged the competition sixteen years previously.

Italy 1990:
In 1990, Italy became the World Cup of stalemates. Both semi-finals were drawn out through penalty kicks. In the final itself, the only goal came from the spot.

USA 1994:
Once Team US had played a few games most of the nation began to understand they were hosting the greatest show on earth and how the game was played.

France 1998:
France became the sixth nation to win the World Cup on home soil. Thirty-two teams competed in the 16th World Cup; better known as France 98.

Korea-Japan 2002:
The 17th World Cup, held in Korea and Japan, was the first World Cup finals to be shared by two hosts and the first to be held in Asia.

Germany 2006:
The 2006 World Cup Finals ran from 9th June to 9th July; the opening match in Munich and the final in Berlin. Munich and Dortmund hosted the semi-finals.

South Africa 2010:
Eighty years after the First World Cup Finals in Uruguay, the world's most prestigious football competition was finally hosted on the African continent.

Brazil 2014:
Five times World Cup Champions, Brazil, get a second chance to hold the prestigious World Cup Finals; 64 years after they last hosted the tournament.

Russia 2018:
VAR made its World Cup debut and set out to change the course of a game with some crucial rule infringement watching and vital on the spot decisions.

Qatar 2022:
When FIFA executives met in Zurich to decide on who would host the 2018 and 2022 World Cup Finals, Qatar was probably the biggest surprise to many.

United 2026:
The 2026 FIFA World Cup Finals will be jointly hosted by Canada, Mexico and the United States. The United Bid won the hosting rights ahead of Morocco.

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