The game started off a little slowly, with a good deal of play taking place in midfield. Neither team was able to take firm control, and while they both created a few chances, none of them were particularly dangerous.
The game changed early in the second half, though. In the 52nd minute, Necaxa attacked with intent and Querétaro couldn’t get the ball clear. A dangerous low cross was blocked by the defense, but the rebound fell to Jesús Angulo; his shot was also blocked, but once again the rebound fell to a player in red and white, this time Cristian Calderón, who sent it into the upper corner to make it 1-0 for the hosts.
The game settled down again after that, and it was starting to look like Querétaro would get out of Aguascalientes with only a one-goal deficit. But the final 15 minutes went from bad to worse for the visitors. First, Jair Periera was forced out of the game with an injury; then, Necaxa started scoring.
In the 82nd minute, the Rayos won a free kick in a dangerous spot and Luis Felipe Gallegos curled it past a diving Gil Alcalá to make it 2-0. That second goal re-energized Necaxa, and they went in search of a third. “Chicote” Calderón came close minutes later, but that time Alcalá made the save.
Then, in stoppage time, the ball once again ping-ponged around Querétaro’s box, with the defense unable to definitively clear it. Eduardo Herrera – who had entered the game just minutes earlier – applied the final touch to make it 3-0 for Necaxa in the 91st minute.
The 3-0 result means Necaxa will advance with a win or a draw in Saturday’s second leg, as well as a two-goal loss. Additionally, if Necaxa scores, they can lose by three goals and still advance thanks to the away goals tiebreaker (ex: a 4-1 or 5-2 loss). Querétaro, meanwhile, needs to win big to move on; a 3-0 result would do it thanks to the higher seed tiebreaker, but if Necaxa scores, the Gallos will need to win by four to advance.