Necaxa and América have everything left to play for after a 1-1 draw in the first leg of their semifinal series. The Rayos took the lead but were unable to hold it as the Águilas tied the game with a potentially valuable away goal.
The first good chance of the game went América’s way, with Renato Ibarra receiving the ball in a dangerous spot and trying his luck in the 14th minute. Then, in the 35th, the visitors had their best chance of the half from a corner kick, but Pablo Aguilar put his header just wide.
Then, shortly before halftime, Necaxa nearly opened the scoring as Jesús Isijara forced an impressive save out of Moisés Muñoz with a header of his own.
However, neither team could break the deadlock in the opening stanza and the game went to halftime goalless.
In the second half, the hosts took the lead. In the 62nd minute, Isijara played in Luis Gallegos, who just managed to stay onside; the Chilean beat his defender and Muñoz to make it 1-0.
But the lead lasted just five minutes before América found the equalizer. In the 67th minute, William da Silva’s shot took a slight deflection off Necaxa’s defense to beat Marcelo Barovero and make it 1-1.
The closing stages of the game were testy, with a number of fouls on both sides. América looked to complete the comeback as Necaxa looked to retake the lead, but in the end neither team could find a second goal.
With the 1-1 draw, Sunday’s second leg will be a winner-takes-all affair. Should the two teams draw again, a 0-0 or 1-1 result would advance América, while a tie with two more more goals would put Necaxa in the final.
Necaxa: Marcelo Barovero, Brayan Beckeles, Marcos González, Mario de Luna, Jairo González, Michel García (Diego Riolfo 78′), Jesús Isijara, Manuel Iturra, Edson Puch, Luis Gallegos, Fabián Espíndola (Rodrigo Prieto 63′).
América: Moisés Muñoz, Ventura Alvarado, Edson Álvarez, Paolo Goltz, Pablo Aguilar, Miguel Ángel Samudio, Renato Ibarra (Carlos Rosel 78′), William da Silva, Oribe Peralta, Carlos Darwin Quintero (Michael Arroyo 59′), Silvio Romero (Osvaldo Martínez 63′).