Mexico, who had started brighter, equalised after 79 minutes when Rafael Marquez capitalised on some poor defending and picked his spot to score.
“The draw was a fair result. I think this group is very tough. The team that gets four points will qualify,” said South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira. “I praised my team. We could have won the game but the result was fair.
Mexico coach Javier Aguirre added: “Their goal changed the match a lot. I wouldnt say we got nervous but a little bit anxious. We tried to change our play and we managed to draw but it wasnt enough. We have to praise our opponents.”