Miles Robinson was always there to bail them out when the visitors raided the US area, and then he capped his star showing with the winning goal just as the game looked certain to reach penalty kicks.
Here's how Gregg Berhalter's troops fared against El Tri.
United States Men's National Team Player Ratings
For most of regulation time, the New York City FC man struggled with Mexico's ground game. While Sands fared well with his aerial challenges, there were tough turnovers, lost marks and iffy clearances. However, after about the 70th minute, the youngster significantly tightened things up at the back.
The Boavista right back never really looked to get forward, but deserves plaudits for his emergency interventions. Cannon single-handedly shut down some dangerous Mexico chances with his transition defense and area challenges.
This was very much a tale-of-two-halves performance by the Colorado Rapids midfielder. The first half was rough for Acosta, who couldn't advance passes out of the back and was having all sorts of trouble containing Hector Herrera. Then he was fantastic after the break, especially on the defensive side of the ball. As the cherry on top, his terrific free kick teed up Robinson's late winner.
While the Schalke forward fired a few threatening shots at Mexico's goal, this was his least well-rounded outing of the tournament. Hoppe's handling touch was off, and none of his offbeat ideas panned out this time.
The coach seemed quite content to have his team squeak out yet another 1-0 victory, and some of his maneuvers helped make that happen. This was no virtuoso performance, to be sure, but Berhalter's boys came ready to plug away on the same page until the trophy was back in USMNT hands.
The Seattle ace delivered an enticing cross with his first action, but was pretty quiet after that.
There weren't real shining moments or errors in the right back's no-frills sub shift.
The Colorado left back mostly stayed home, and ably so.
The Caen attacker linked play a bit, but his most notable action was a bad giveaway that sent Mexico on the break.
The youngster wasn't sharp on the ball at the start of his 33 minutes, but settled down to help the USMNT relieve pressure.
A mere cameo for the Revolution defender on his USMNT debut.