The game started off perfectly for the visitors, who took the lead just two minutes in. Raúl López took a free kick, and it took a nasty deflection off Tigres’ Eduardo Vargas to wrong-foot goalkeeper Nahuel Guzmán. 0-1 for Pachuca.
The universitarios were able to tie it just past the half-hour mark due to a goalkeeping error. Alfonso Blanco made the initial save but spilled the ball, and Ismael Sosa was there to take advantage, making it 1-1 in the 31st minute.
In the 65th minute, it looked like Tigres would complete the comeback after Erick Gutiérrez was called for a handball in the box. Mark Geiger pointed to the penalty spot, but Blanco saved the spot kick from Vargas to maintain the 1-1 draw.
Pachuca then had a late chance to reclaim the lead when Franco Jara played Jonathan Urretaviscaya in on goal in the 83rd minute. However, Guzmán came out on top in that one-on-one, with the keeper making a great save to deny “Urreta”.
With the 1-1 draw, next Wednesday’s second leg will be a winner-takes-all affair. Should the two draw again, a 0-0 result would see Pachuca crowned champion, 1-1 would send it to extra time, and 2-2 or higher would give Tigres the title.
Tigres: Nahuel Guzmán, Luis Rodríguez (Jürgen Damm 68′), Hugo Ayala, Juninho, Jorge Torres Nilo, Guido Pizarro (Luis Advíncula 74′), Jesús Dueñas, Eduardo Vargas (Lucas Zelarayán 85′), Ismael Sosa, Javier Aquino, André-Pierre Gignac.
Pachuca: Alfonso Blanco, Emmanuel García, Omar González, Raúl López, Óscar Murillo, Jorge Hernández, Jonathan Urretaviscaya, Hirving Lozano, Erick Gutiérrez (John Stefan Medina 91′), Víctor Guzmán, Franco Jara (Erick Aguirre 84′).