It may have not been the prettiest of victories for Monterrey, but they will take it. Monarcas Morelia had their chances early, but they didn't take them, while Monterrey made the most of their few opportunities and finished strong. Toss in some help from the referee and the visitors came away 3-1 winners at Morelia in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal tie.
Morelia brought early pressure and had chances at goal, but they began a nasty habit of missing the frame. They finally did get a good chance when Edgar Lugo came flying in with a good header, but a fantastic kick save by Jonathan Orozco denied him.
Despite 27 minutes of near one-way traffic, Monterrey took the lead thanks to a referee's mistake. Angel Reyna was taken down Mauricio Reyna for a clear foul, but the referee didn't just blow the whistle. The referee also pointed to the spot and replays confirmed the initial fears that he had made a mistake because the foul occurred outside the box. Humberto Suazo wasn't going to complain about the referee's error, though, and he blasted home the penalty for the lead.
Just before the half, it looked like Morelia would equalize, but as quickly as that happened, they saw their deficit double. Aldo Ramirez let a shot rip and after a deflection, Orozco was on the ground and hopeless with the ball making its way towards goal, but it just went over the bar. Monterrey came firing back the other way and Suazo scored a second goal to give the visitors a 2-0 halftime lead.
The match was more even in the second half and Morelia did cut the Monterrey lead in half. Lugo's cross floated to the far post and Orozco could not decide whether to come out on it or not. Eventually he chose not to, but by then he was caught in no-man's land and Joel Huiqui's header lofted over him and in.
Once Morelia equalized, they lost control of the match. Monterrey then got on the gas pedal and Suazo almost made it a hat trick, but his shot hit the bar. It proved to be no problem, though, because Darrio Carreno added a third goal in extra time to give Monterrey a 3-1 win that looks nearly insurmountable going to the second leg in Monterrey.