Despite their surprise elimination at the final qualifying stage, the USA are rightly recognised as the kings of ‘soccer’ in North America. However, in 1986 it was their Northern neighbours who made the journey South and crossed the Rio Grande to join the party that was Mexico 1986. They qualified by winning the 1985 CONCACAF Championship, but sadly, their one appearance placed them in a strong Group alongside the Soviet Union, France and Hungary. Despite a strong defence and never being totally outclassed, they lost all three games and failed to score a single goal. Their goal difference of -5 placed them officially 24th and last. Hopefully, we will see them back again, but until then we have to content ourselves with only a fleeting sight of the world’s second biggest country.
Honourable mention to Iraq on their first and so far only Finals’ appearance.