After a fairly even start to the game, Chivas took the lead thanks to a defensive miscue. Tyler Adams turned the ball over near midfield as he tried to play out of the box, with Rodolfo Pizarro quickly countering; he laid the ball off for Isaác Brizuela, who slid it into the lower corner to make it 1-0 in the 26th minute.
The game was a chippy affair, with more confrontations and shoving matches than shots on goal. The Red Bulls will be without Alex Muyl for the second leg due to yellow card accumulation, as well as Aurélien Collin, who was sent off in the 73rd minute with his second yellow of the night.
The Red Bulls had their best chance to equalize while playing with 10 men, when Bradley Wright-Phillips went one-on-one with Cota on a breakaway. However, the Englishman could only sent the ball straight into Cota’s side as the chance went begging.
With the 1-0 win, Chivas will advance to the final with a win or draw in next week’s second leg, while the Red Bulls must win by two to advance. A 1-0 Red Bulls win would send the game to penalties.
Chivas: Rodolfo Cota, Oswaldo Alanís, Jair Pereira, Edwin Hernández (Walter Gael Sandoval 77′), Carlos Cisneros, Alan Pulido (José Macías 82′), Orbelín Pineda, Michael Pérez, José Godínez, Rodolfo Pizarro, Isaác Brizuela.
New York: Luis Robles, Aaron Long, Aurélien Collin, Tim Parker, Michael Amir Murillo, Tyler Adams, Sean Davis, Kemar Lawrence, Alex Muyl (Florian Valot 61′), Daniel Royer (Derrick Etienne Jr. 76′), Bradley Wright-Phillips.