The game started off well for the visitors, who put pressure on Necaxa and had a few chances through Avilés Hurtado and Dorlan Pabón. They couldn’t find too many clear chances, though, although Hugo González came close to gifting them a goal after mishandling a free kick in the 20th minute. However, the keeper was able to recover and grab the ball out of the air before it made it over the line.
Necaxa had a chance to open the scoring themselves with a shot from Daniel Álvarez that forced a good save out of Marcelo Barovero in the 27th minute.
Then, In the 39th minute, the game took a turn for the worse for the Rayados as Avilés Hurtado was ejected with his second yellow card of the game for a foul on Fernando González.
Necaxa soon took advantage of their extra player, and they took the lead just before halftime. In stoppage time, Cristian Calderón headed home a cross from Daniel Álvarez to give the Rayos the 1-0 lead.
The hosts looked to run up their lead in the second half, but Barovero became the man of the match for Monterrey as he repeatedly denied Necaxa. Most notable were a save on Kevin Mercado soon after the restart and then one late on to deny Calderón his second.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for Necaxa, though; in the 69th minute, Luis Gallegos was forced out of the game with an injury.
Monterrey came close to an equalizer towards the end, with César Montes having an opportunity in the 83rd minute, but González made the save to keep Necaxa in front – and keep Monterrey from scoring a potentially valuable away goal.
With the 1-0 win, Necaxa will advance to the semifinals with a win or a draw in Sunday’s second leg; they can also advance with a one-goal loss, so long as they score. As for Monterrey, they need to win to move on; 1-0 would do it thanks to the higher-seed tiebreaker, but if Necaxa gets an away goal, Monterrey will need to win by two to advance.