The United States held on for a 0-0 draw with Mexico on Tuesday, earning only its second point in a World Cup qualifier at Azteca Stadium.
The draw moves the U.S. into third place in World Cup qualifying for the North and Central American and Caribbean region, one point behind Panama and behind Costa Rica on goal difference, which also has four points.
"We wanted to win, but we are pleased with the result," U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. "They gave us everything they have."
Mexico coach Manuel de la Torre is sure to come under fire after a third straight draw. El Tri had plenty of chances, but couldn't finish and were dismal on set pieces. Mexico had 15 corners, including three in the last two minutes of stoppage time as, and U.S. keeper Brad Guzan used his body to block the most dangerous one, by Angel Reyna.
Azteca is one of the world's most imposing venues, and the Americans have a miserable track record there. They are 0-13-2 in World Cup qualifiers in Mexico, with their only other point — also from a 0-0 draw — coming in 1997.
Mexico dominated possession, and Javier Aquino, Javier Hernandez and Jesus Zavala repeatedly tested the inexperienced American defense, picking on DaMarcus Beasley in particular after he was shown a yellow card in the eighth minute. But defender Omar Gonzalez came up with one big play after another, and Matt Besler looked quite comfortable in the Azteca pressure-cooker.
"The guys were outstanding," Klinsmann said. "Our back line, you know, many said they were inexperienced. They deserve a huge compliment. ...If one guy is not here, that's a huge opportunity to the next one stepping in, and I think the guys that stepped in here, they took their chance."
Mexico blew numerous chances, including what should have been a couple of easy goals for Hernandez.
The Manchester United striker misplayed a bouncing corner kick in the 87th, getting only the back of his right foot on it. He pitched forward and into the net, but the ball popped skyward and over the goal. In the 28th minute, Jorge Torres Nilo sent a perfect cross in to Chicharito, who was right in front of the goal, just a few feet from Guzan. But Hernandez skied that one, too.
The United States never really challenged Mexican goalkeeper Guilermo Ochoa. But their defense was strong enough.
Chile down Uruguay 2-0
Chile leapfrogged Uruguay into fourth place in South American World Cup qualifying with a much-needed 2-0 home win Tuesday.
Esteban Paredes made the most of his recall to the Chile team for suspended Alexis Sanchez when he opened the scoring in the 10th minute. Eduardo Vargas shrugged off injury concerns after receiving a knock during Chile's qualifier against Peru on Friday to put the match beyond Uruguay's reach in the 78th.
Chile now has 15 points from 11 matches in qualifying for Brazil, two ahead of Uruguay and nine behind group leader Argentina, which earlier drew 1-1 at Bolivia.
The top four South American teams qualify automatically for the World Cup, while the fifth-place team goes into an intercontinental playoff. Brazil qualifies automatically as host
Venezuela beat Colombia 1-0
Venezuela remained in contention for its first ever World Cup appearance after beating Colombia 1-0 in South American qualifying Tuesday.
Jose Salomon Rondon scored the lone goal of the match in the 14th minute to give Venezuela fifth spot in the qualifying standings. Rondon gathered a Juan Arango pass and beat Colombia defender Luis Amaranto Perea before finding the net.
Venezuela now has with 15 points from 11 games, the same as Chile, which has a better goal difference. Colombia is third with 19 points, five below regional leader Argentina.
The top four South American teams qualify automatically for the World Cup, while the fifth-place team goes into an intercontinental playoff. Brazil qualifies automatically as host.