Substitute Raul Jimenez was denied an injury-time winner by the woodwork as Mexico and South Korea played out a draw at St James' Park.
The striker clipped the outside of the post after being put through by Tottenham's Giovani dos Santos with the whistle fast-approaching.
Korea enjoyed the better of the first half, Nam Taehee firing high and wide with 19 minutes gone and Park Jongwoo crashing a long-distance half-volley over seven minutes before the break.
But Mexico responded with Hector Herrera forcing the first save of note from keeper Jung Sungryong with 42 minutes played.
The Koreans returned in determined mood and went close twice within the opening 10 minutes of the second half, Jacheol Koo clipping the bar with an angled shot before laying the ball off to Ki Sungyueng to force a fine save from keeper Jose Corona.
Jung had to react smartly to keep out Javier Aquino's well-struck effort at the other end, but Marco Fabian passed up a glorious opportunity to fire Mexico ahead when he ballooned his 69th-minute effort over.
Koo headed Kim Changsoo's cross past the post when he might have done better 10 minutes from time, but substitute Giovani only just missed the target before setting up Jimenez for his big chance.