Mexico were the aggressors and the better side in the opening fifteen minutes of the match but they couldn't take advantage of their chances.
In the 7th minute an attempted clearance by DaMarcus Beasley was mis-hit back on frame, but Tim Howard was in the right spot to prevent an own-goal. Mexico also earned the first dangerous free kick in the 11th minute but Christian Giménez's optimistic effort from 30+ yards sailed well over Tim Howard's goal.
The USA's first real threat came in the 14th minute when a headed down free kick fell to Jermaine Jones but his volleyed effort sailed well high.
Mexico came very close to taking the lead in the 19th minute after a turnover in the midfield allowed El Tri to break. The ball ended up popping out right where it was picked up by Christian Giménez who hit the brakes and cut back to the left before firing a shot that was pushed away by Tim Howard
The US got away with another mistake in the 24th minute when Omar Gonzalez was beaten down the left by Giovani Dos Santos. Jermaine Jones made an excellent covering run and muscled Dos Santos off the ball before the Mexican attacker went to ground. The referee wasn't interested and play went on.
Landon Donovan got behind the Mexico defense in th 20th minute and worked his way into the Mexico box before cutting inside. Just as Donovan took the shot, defender Héctor Moreno came sliding across and blocked his effort up in the air for an easy catch by goalkeeper Jose de Jesus Corona.
The US nearly went ahead a couple minutes later when Eddie Johnson was left open in the middle of the box on a corner kick. A stutter step in the box by Gonzalez drew a defender out of position, allowing Johnson sky over a defender, but his header, while on target, was dealt with by Jose de Jesus Corona.
Dos Santos had a great chance in the 44th minute after the US defense allowed him to dribble uncontested into the top of the box before uncorking a shot that was grabbed by Howard. It was as if several defenders expected someone else to step up and challenge Dos Santos and no one did.