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Mexico City, Mar 27 (EFE).- The United States escaped with a scoreless draw against Mexico in qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil thanks to a well-organized defense and a controversial non-call.
The Mexicans dominated ball possession in the early going of Tuesday night's contest at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City and seemed to have a clear scoring opportunity when star striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez appeared to have been brought down in the area and a linesman signaled a penalty.
But Guatemalan referee Walter Lopez overturned the decision to the displeasure of the home crowd.
The Americans came alive near the end of the first half when Michael Bradley penetrated Mexico's penalty area, but Jorge Torres Nilo snuffed out the opportunity.
In the second half, the Mexicans had possession of the ball the majority of the time but lacked the creativity needed to break down the Americans' organized defense in front of net minder Brad Guzan, who inserted himself into the action when necessary.
The Mexican team had one final chance in the 87th minute, but Hernandez was unable to make good on a clear scoring chance off a corner kick.
The result leaves the United States in third place in World Cup qualifying in the Concacaf region, while Mexico sits in a disappointing fifth place out of six teams in the fourth and final round.
Three Concacaf teams will qualify directly for next year's World Cup, while the fourth-place team will play a home-away series against the winner of the Oceania region.
Mexico still has seven games remaining to move up in the standings, although eyebrows have been raised by its scoreless draws against Jamaica and now the United States at Estadio Azteca.
Mexico will play its next game on June 4 against Jamaica in Kingston, while the United States will square off against the Caribbean island at that same venue three days later.