WC Qualifiers: Mexico escapes with a point

Gabriel Torres had two first-half chances, while Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was called into action numerous times after the break. However, the draw lifted both teams onto four points in the group in the fifth round of qualifying.

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Javier Hernandez in action for Mexico against Panama.

Mexico was held to a 0-0 draw by Panama in their CONCACAF World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Fresh from its win over the United States, Juan Carlos Osorio's Mexico was unable to produce a similar performance.

The visiting team was perhaps fortunate to come away with a point against Panama, which looked more likely to score throughout.

Gabriel Torres had two first-half chances, while Mexico goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa was called into action numerous times after the break. However, the draw lifted both teams onto four points in the group in the fifth round of qualifying.

Osorio made several changes to the team that beat USA, with Carlos Vela and Andres Guardado (hamstring) among those missing. Mexico still had the likes of Javier Hernandez, chasing Jared Borgetti's all-time goalscoring record, and Giovani dos Santos in attack.

Panama came into the clash on the back of a 1-0 win over Honduras and it was dominant early, almost taking an eighth-minute lead through Torres.

Teed up just inside the area, Torres sliced his shot wide for the host. It was Torres who threatened once more in the 15th minute, but his effort from an angle was well blocked by a scrambling Jonathan dos Santos, although no corner was awarded.

Mexico was pushed back and rarely looked like taking the lead during a strong opening 45 minutes by Panama.

Osorio made a change at the break as Jesus Duenas replaced Diego Reyes, but the host continued to look the better side, Blas Perez forcing a save out of Ochoa from distance. An overhead kick from Luis Tejada in the 80th minute also drew a save from Ochoa as Panama looked for a winner, but there was to be no late drama.