World Cup Countdown: 86 Days To Go

Mexico 1986 was an unforgettable FIFA World Cup for all sorts of reasons, not least the electrifying performances of a certain Diego Armando Maradona.

But just as historic and significant as Argentina’s triumph was the less-heralded success enjoyed by Morocco earlier in the competition.

After all, in drawing with England and Poland and beating Portugal 3-1, the Atlas Lions not only became the first African team to qualify for the second stage of a World Cup – they topped their group.

A narrow 1-0 defeat to eventual finalists West Germany followed in the last 16, but a barrier had been broken and, since then, African teams have become regular participants in the tournament’s knockout rounds.