Despite the ultimate lack of goals, there were chances right from the beginning. In the 2nd minute, the Tuzos had the first opportunity through a quick counterattack, but Erick Aguirre couldn’t finish it off.
Then, in the 9th minute, John Stefan Medina got his head to a corner kick, only to see the ball cleared at the last second by Anderson Leite.
Pachuca thought they had taken the lead in the 31st minute, when Omar González nodded a free kick by Jonathan Urretaviscaya into the net, but the would-be goal was disallowed for a tight offside call.
As for Saprissa, the hosts nearly snatched the lead just before halftime when Ulises Segura saw his shot hit the post.
In the second half, Saprissa began to control possession and create more chances of their own. Then, in the 63rd minute, they had a penalty shout turned down after Joseph Mora was brought down in the box.
While Saprissa was unable to turn their possession into goals, they are not in a bad position to advance after denying Pachuca an away goal in this leg.
With the 0-0 draw, next week’s second leg will be a winner-takes-all affair. Should the two teams draw again, a second 0-0 scoreline would send the game to extra time while any other draw would advance Saprissa due to the away goals tiebreaker.
Saprissa: Danny Carvajal, Julio Cascante, Roy Miller, Heiner Mora, Joseph Mora (Dave Myrie 88′), Marvin Agulo (Randy Chirino 81′), Ulises Segura, Anderson Leite (Anllel Porras 53′), Mariano Torres, Christian Martínez, Daniel Colindres.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco, Omar González, Óscar Murillo, Erick Aguirre (Roberto Alvarado 80′), Emmanuel García, John Stefan Medina, Raúl López, Jorge Hernández, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Franco Jara, Hirving Lozano.