10 minutes in, disaster struck for Tijuana. Jefferson Cuero made a run down the right, and crossed the ball at a hard angle across the goal mouth. Miguel Sansores was on the other side, and hit a tight angle shot that hit off of Gibran Lajud and in to give Morelia the early lead.
In the 35th minute, Morelia’s Raul Ruidiaz was making a run into the box and tried to stop suddenly and sustained a knee injury. He walked gingerly off of the pitch and was subbed out for Rodolfo Vilchis. Ruidiaz was shown on the sideline having his knee wrapped in ice.
Ya fuera del partido Raúl Ruidíaz es atendido. Lesión en la rodilla izquierda. Fue cambiado por Vilchis a los 36'. pic.twitter.com/XS1MeSkj4w— Jampool Cuadros (@tuleenomas) May 12, 2017
Losing the reigning Liga MX scorer would be a massive blow for Monarcas. It remains to be seen if he’ll be available for selection on Sunday in the second leg.
Morelia played a very compact defensive style that made it very difficult for Tijuana to mount many attacks. With the narrow pitch at Estadio Morelos, the normally frenetic Xolos had few passing lanes and seldom had space to run into.
Just before the half, Damian Perez looked certain to score a goal but Sebastian Sosa’s fantastic diving save kept Xolos off of the board.
In the start of the second half, Monarcas seemed to spread out some, which allowed Xolos to be able to move the ball much more freely than in the first half. Morelia however also seemed to benefit from the openness, forcing Gibran Lajud to make some fantastic saves.
The two teams will face off again on Sunday in Estadio Caliente in Tijuana at 9:00 PM Eastern / 6:00 PM Pacific.
Morelia: Sebastian Sosa; Carlos Rodriguez, Gabriel Achilier, Emmanuel Loeschbor, Enrique Perez; Aldo Rocha, Rodrigo Millar, Jefferson Cuero (Mario Osuna, 88’); Miguel Sansores, Gaston Lezcano (Jorge Zarate, 67’), Raul Ruidiaz (Rodolfo Vilchis, 37’)
Tijuana: Gibran Lajud; Carlos Vargas, Juan Carlos Valenzuela, Hiram Munoz, Damian Perez; Guido Rodríguez (Juan Martin Lucero, 77’); Victor Malcorra, Joe Corona (Luis Chavez, 70’), Paul Arriola; Avilés Hurtado, Milton Caraglio (Juan Carlos Nunez, 62’)
Scoring: Morelia - Miguel Sansores (10’); Tijuana - None
Disciplinary: Morelia - None; Tijuana - Guido Rodriguez (Yellow - 15’), Paul Arriola (Yellow - 58’)