The universitarios largely controlled possession in the first half as they looked to make their home field advantage count. Their best opportunity came when Jürgen Damm sent a cross to the far post for Eduardo Vargas, but goalkeeper David Ousted was able to make the save.
In the second half, Tigres continued to dominate possession while Vancouver ceded the ball and sat back to defend. But Tigres’ pressure eventually paid off and they took the lead through an own-goal.
In the 66th minute, André-Pierre Gignac received the ball in the box and his low cross was redirected into Vancouver’s goal by the unfortunate Kendall Waston to make it 1-0.
It looked like that goal was going to be the only one to separate the sides, but in the waning moments Vargas gave the hosts some breathing room with his volleyed strike to make it 2-0 in the 86th minute.
With the 2-0 win, Tigres will advance to the semifinals with a win or draw in the second leg on April 5th, while Vancouver needs to win by three goals to advance. A 2-0 Vancouver win would send the series to extra time.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Luis Advíncula (Ismael Sosa 63′), Hugo Ayala, Francisco Meza, Jorge Torres Nilo (Lucas Zelarayán 45′), Guido Pizarro, Jesús Dueñas, Jürgen Damm, Eduardo Vargas, Luis Quiñones, André-Pierre Gignac.
Vancouver: David Ousted, Sheanon Williams, Kendall Waston, Tim Parker, Jordan Harvey, Matías Laba, Andrew Jacobson, Alphonso Davies (Cristian Techera 77′), Fredy Montero (Gabriel Mezquida 63′), Marcel de Jong (Christian Bolaños 55′), Brek Shea.