The Panamanians came to the Azteca to defend, and it took América a little time to find the breakthrough. But in the 19th minute, Joe Corona gave the hosts the lead with a left-footed shot from the top of the box.
Tauro came close to an equalizer when Agustín Marchesín got caught off his line. Adalberto Carrasquilla tried to chip the keeper with his shot from distance, but Marchesín was able to scramble back and make a last-second save on the line to keep América ahead.
The Águilas dominated possession and chances, but it wasn’t until the 70th minute that they were able to add to their lead. Henry Martín made it 2-0 when he headed home a cross from Andrés Ibargüen.
Then, in the 78th minute, Cecilio Domínguez made it 3-0 with an assist from Martín before Ibargüen added an exclamation mark to the win with his goal in the 81st minute to make it 4-0 – another play that Martín was involved in.
With the 4-0 win, América will advance to the semifinals with a win, a draw, or a loss by up to three goals in next week’s second leg (or by four goals should the Águilas pick up an away goal). Tauro must win 4-0 to send the game to extra time and must win by at least five to advance outright.
América: Agustín Marchesín, Bruno Valdéz, Edson Álvarez, Carlos Vargas (Mateus Uribe 56′), Paul Aguilar, Guido Rodríguez, Joe Corona (Cecilio Domínguez 70′), William da Silva, Henry Martín, Andrés Ibargüen, Carlos Darwin Quintero (Oribe Peralta 57′).
Tauro: Óscar McFarlane, Richard Dixon, Gustavo Chará, Jorge Gutiérrez, Rigoberto Niño (Enrico Small 80′), Marcos Sánchez, Adalberto Carrasquilla, Rolando Botello, Jesús González (Gabriel Chiari 67′), José Tamburelli (Javier Rivera 58′), Edwin Aguilar.