Monarcas Morelia earned a 1-0 victory over Tijuana in the first leg of their Clausura 2017 quarterfinal series. The shutout may prove to be just as important as the win, as Morelia was able to prevent the Xolos from picking up any away goals.
Morelia started the game off strongly and they took the lead just 10 minutes in. Jefferson Cuero sent a low cross to the far post, where Miguel Ángel Sansores knocked it back across goal, sending the ball into Gibrán Lajud and into the back of the net.
Morelia had a chance to make it 2-0 in the 38th minute, but Rodolfo Vilchis, who had just entered the game for Raúl Ruidíaz, couldn’t get a touch on the ball.
Tijuana’s league-leading attack generated some chances of their own, and Sebastián Sosa made a great save on a header by Damián Pérez to keep Morelia in front.
In the second half, it was Lajud who was the busier of the goalkeepers as he was called into action against Vilchis and then Gabriel Achilier, who had a one-on-one.
The Xolos were ultimately unable to find the breakthrough at the other end, and they now head back to the Estadio Caliente needing to score.
With the 1-0 win, Morelia will advance to the semifinals with a win or draw in Sunday’s second leg, while Tijuana needs to win to move on. A 1-0 win would do it for the Xolos, but if Morelia scores, Tijuana will need to win by two.
Morelia: Sebastián Sosa, Emanuel Loeschbor, Carlos Gerardo Rodríguez, Gabriel Achilier, Enrique Pérez, Jefferson Cuero (Mario Osuna 89′), Miguel Ángel Sansores, Rodrigo Millar, Gastón Lezcano (Jorge Zárate 67′), Aldo Rocha, Raúl Ruidíaz (Rodolfo Vilchis 38′).
Tijuana: Manuel Gibrán Lajud, Damián Pérez, Carlos Vargas, Hiram Muñoz, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Víctor Malcorra, Guido Rodríguez (Juan Lucero 77′), Joe Corona (Luis Chávez 72′), Avilés Hurtado, Milton Caraglio (Juan Carlos Núñez 62′), Paul Arriola.