The tale of the tape from the opening game draw...
Khune: 7 – Flapped at a cross which could easily have given Mexico an early lead, but looked much more assured until coming into no-man’s land on Vela’s disallowed effort. Thereon he made some excellent stops as he did his best to keep a memorable clean sheet.
Gaxa: 6 – Looked sharp on the ball, but often failed to get close to Mexico’s lively attackers and got lucky that El Tri were not more clinical.
Mokoena: 6 – Made a vital early block on Giovani and remained Bafana’s most intimidating force at the back, but let the side down when keeping three men onside to allow Marquez to eqaulise.
Khumalo: 6.5 – Caught out of position from time to time as El Tri’s forward line made life tough for him countless times, but made a couple of excellent blocks as his confidence grew as time went on.
Thwala: 5 – Not always quick to get a foot in, and allowed Giovani in particular time to pick out a pass before being replaced by Masilela at half-time.
Tshabalala: 8 – Attacked with vigour and swung in one delightful cross towards Mphela which the striker could have done better with. Then brought joy to the nation by lashing home a magnificent left-foot shot. Also provided other late chances as he made things difficult throughout.
Dikgacoi: 7 – Was Bafana’s main aerial threat at times during the first half and also showed his combative side in the midfield battle. Always prominent in his side’s attempts to stay on top in the second period.
Letsholonyane: 6 – Fought hard, but often went missing as the midfield battle went on around him.
Modise: 6.5 – Looked lively on the ball and appeared the Bafana player most likely to create something different early on. Was guilty of stage fright a couple of times in the second half, once in particular when he could have put the game beyond doubt.
Pienaar: 6 – The centrepiece of the South Africa side was quiet in the early moments but grew in influence as his team got back into the game. Could have provided better final passes.
Mphela: 6 – Couldn’t quite get his head to Tshabalala’s cross in the first half and hit the post late on after failing to get the ball under control. But he provided the spearhead of a lively counter-attacking Bafana line-up.
Masilela: 6 – Improved the left side no end with his introduction for Thwala. One clumsy tackle earned him a yellow card, but his positioning was generally good.
Perez: 5.5 – Was far from convincing on crosses and looked susceptible on more than one Bafana shot, but could do nothing about Tshabalala’s fantastic finish.
Aguilar: 7 – Made a fantastic impression in the opening moments as his attacking qualities made the home side look average. Continued to have an impact on the ball, but sometimes struggled up against Modise and Tshabalala.
Osorio: 7 – Generally dealt with South Africa’s attackers well, and was more than a match for Mphela.
Rodriguez: 7 – Good defending on the whole, and made some important interceptions. Also harried Mphela well when the striker hit the post late on.
Salcido: 6 – Often exposed by Bafana on the counter-attack, but his play on the ball was composed.
Marquez: 7 – Was a calming influence on the ball as El Tri bossed possession and popped up in the right place at the right time to score equaliser.
Juarez: 6.5 – Shifted the ball about well, but was unable to provide a killer ball as his side looked occasionally toothless going forward.
Torrado: 6 – Was disappointing for the most part as he failed to get on top of the game.
Giovani: 7.5 – Constantly caused headaches for the back four, but his shooting boots must have been left behind as Mexico were almost made to play for their profligacy.
Franco: 6 – Failed to hit the target time and again when he got into good positions during Mexico’s moments of dominance.
Vela: 7 – Attacked Bafana where it hurt but didn’t make them pay... and why did he tap in that clear goal?
Blanco: 5 – Brought on to provide the little extra, but had no positive effect.