Necaxa had the best road record in the league in the regular season – with six wins from nine games – and they came out attacking as they looked to keep their good road form going in this one. But after a promising five minutes from the Rayos, Monterrey took control of the game and they took the lead in the 10th minute.
Jesús Gallardo put a header on goal following a deflected cross from the right; Hugo González made the initial save, but the rebound fell back to Gallardo, who made no mistake with his second attempt to make it 1-0 for Monterrey.
After that, the Rayados generated numerous chances to add to their lead, but a combination of poor finishing and some great saves by González kept Necaxa in the game.
All those missed chances came back to bite Monterrey in the second half; in the 63rd minute, Necaxa tied the game. Mauro Quiroga was played in behind the defense, where he took the ball into the box and fired a low shot past Marcelo Barovero, who got a hand to it but couldn’t keep it out. 1-1.
But parity didn’t last long before the Rayados regained the lead. In the 73rd minute, Monterrey worked the ball into the box and Vincent Janssen muscled past his defenders before beating González to make it 2-1 for the hosts.
With the 2-1 win, Monterrey will advance to the final with a win or a draw in Saturday’s second leg, as well as a one-goal loss as long as they score at least two goals, while Necaxa needs to win to move on; a one-goal win would do it as long as Monterrey doesn’t score more than once; otherwise, Necaxa will need to win by two.