Monarcas started the game well in front of their home fans, who packed the Estadio Morelos. The hosts had the first good chance of the game in just the 3rd minute, when Rodrigo Millar saw his shot hit the crossbar with the goalkeeper beaten.
There were chances at both ends, and Avilés Hurtado had the ball in the back of the net for Monterrey in the 27th minute, but the would-be goal was disallowed after a very tight offside call.
Then, in the 35th minute, Carlos Guzmán fouled Hurtado in the box and referee Jorge Pérez Durán pointed to the penalty spot. Hurtado took the penalty himself, and he sent it past Sebastián Sosa – who had guessed the right way but still couldn’t stop it – to give Monterrey the 0-1 lead.
The Rayados started the second half off strongly and Rogelio Funes Mori nearly made it 0-2 when he was played in by Dorlan Pabón, but the Argentinian skied his shot from six yards out.
The majority of chances went Monterrey’s way as Morelia struggled to regain the momentum they had had early in the first half. It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Rayados, though, as Hurtado had to leave the game injured just past the hour mark.
In the waning stages of the game, Morelia had a few chances to find an equalizer, including a dangerous header by Ángel Sepúlveda in stoppage time that forced a good save out of Hugo González, who was able to preserve the shutout.
With the 0-1 win, Monterrey will advance to the final with a win, a draw, or a 0-1 loss in Sunday’s second leg, while Morelia needs to score at least two goals in a win in order to advance.
Morelia: Sebastián Sosa, Carlos Rodríguez, Sebastián Vegas, Gabriel Achilier, Carlos Guzmán, Rodrigo Millar (Jorge Zárate 71′), Mario Osuna, Diego Valdés, Gastón Lezcano (Rodolfo Vilchis 61′), Raúl Ruidíaz, Ángel Sepúlveda.
Monterrey: Hugo González, Nicolás Sánchez, José María Basanta, Leonel Vangioni, John Stefan Medina, Celso Oritz, Jonathan González, Carlos Sánchez (Juan Álvarez 93′), Rogelio Funes Mori, Dorlan Pabón (Marco Bueno 87′), Avilés Hurtado (Jesús Molina 64′).