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3 iconic World Cup matches played on North American soil

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The land that produced the greatest game and the greatest goal of the 20th century could once again be home to football's most celebrated event.

On Monday, Mexico, Canada, and the United States announced plans for a joint World Cup bid for the 2026 tournament, with hopes of bringing the tournament back to North America for the first time in over 30 years.

For South American countries, news of the joint bid should be met with joy considering Brazil (1970, 1994) and Argentina (1986) are the only nations to hoist the World Cup trophy on North American soil.

Here's a look at the most iconic World Cup matches played on North American soil:

1970: Italy 4-3 West Germany

Hardly anyone inside Estadio Azteca could have anticipated what was in store as Italy and West Germany entered extra time during their semi-final meeting in 1970.

Another 30 minutes was tacked onto the semi-final encounter after Karl-Heinz Schnellinger's injury-time goal cancelled out Italy's opener when Roberto Boninsegna scored just eight minutes into the contest.

"... what people forget is how ordinary the first 90 minutes were," German legend Franz Beckenbauer said.

What followed was arguably the most thrilling extra periods in football history as the two football giants traded blows and combined for another five goals in 16 minutes.

Before Italy emerged as winners, the over 100,000 spectators that day were the only football fans to witness the winning goal live as viewers around the world were shown replays of Gerd Muller's equaliser just as Gianni Rivera sent his side to the final with the eventual winner.

1970: Brazil 4-1 Italy

There was no surprise as to who would emerge victorious during the final at the 1970 World Cup when Brazil entered the final 10 minutes with a 3-1 advantage over Italy.

Brazil was going to win a record third World Cup, and that was that.

But, a moment of magic awaited in the closing minutes.

In what would later be described as the greatest goal in World Cup history, a eight Brazilians combined to carve through Italy before Pele's perfectly weighted pass into the path of Carlos Alberto saw the country's captain almost break through the back of the net with his thunderous strike to make it 4-1 with just minutes left on the clock.

The pass to Alberto, however, might not have been so smooth had it not been for Tostao, who pointed in the charging right-back's direction as Pele contemplated his next move at the top of the box.

(Courtesy: Soccerex)

1986: Argentina 2-1 England

England's attempt to reclaim its place atop the football world was harshly swatted away in the 1986 World Cup quarter-finals.

A determined Argentina side was standing in England's way as the two sides clashed for the first time since battling one another during the Falklands War in 1982.

The South American side put on a positive display and seemed likeliest of the two to find a goal but ultimately failed to break the deadlock heading into halftime.

Memories of the opening half vanished just six minutes after the break when Diego Maradona etched his name into history for all the wrong reasons. As Peter Shilton attempted to punch a dangerous ball out of harms way, Maradona - a good eight inches shorter than the England 'keeper - leaped into the air and guided the ball into goal with his hand.

The gifted Argentine redeemed himself, in a way, later in the half with an absolutely sublime run that saw him filet his English markers with a series of dribbles and shoulder fakes en route to scoring what would become the winning goal, and arguably the greatest offensive display in World Cup history.

(Courtesy: forfunny59)

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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