Hole proves too deep for U.S. in Mexico

and then shortly before the break, Mexico technical director Antonio La Volpe was sent off.

After the interval, the USA came back with a more attacking attitude, and pulled level just before the hour mark. FC Dallas striker Eddie Johnson, playing a lone role up top, got on the end of a great long ball, cut it back across the 18-yard-box to Landon Donovan who swiveled and passed to Eddie Lewis, and he coolly buried his chance past Mexican 'keeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

The U.S. had several chances after that to acquire a much-needed second goal and an elusive away point on the road, while escaping a number of very close calls at the other end.

U.S. manager Bruce Arena tried several variations in his lineup as he called on Pat Noonan and Steve Ralston of the New England Revolution in search of that goal. But as more offensive attackers were brought on, Mexico found itself with several great chances that only Keller's stellar saves kept from being goals.

Arena and the USA were left with a major decision in their lineup for Wednesday's next qualifier, DaMarcus Beasley receiving a yellow card in the second half which will leave him suspended for the match against Guatemala and L.A. Galaxy super-striker Carlos Ruiz in Birmingham, Ala. Guatemala currently sit second in the CONCACAF qualifying hexagonal after their 5-1 victory against Trinidad & Tobago on Saturday, with the United States third. Mexico leads the qualifying group with six points.

Danny Polinsky is a contributor to MLSnet.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Soccer or its clubs.


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