MEXICO CITY -- Christian Giménez scored the game's only goal and Cruz Azul took pole position in the Liga MX final, winning the first leg on Thursday 1-0 over Club America.
Intense rain at the Estadio Azul affected both sides in the early going. And though America had the better of play in the first half, it was Cruz Azul that found the back of the net in the 20th minute.
A corner kick from Pablo Barrera fell to an unmarked Giménez, who powered a header past goalkeeper Moisés Muñoz.
Miguel Herrera's team wasted little time in the search for an equalizer, generating several opportunities, but none of them resulted in a goal.
In the second half, Cruz Azul goalkeeper Jesús Corona turned in a man of the match performance. The Mexican international made outstanding stops on two consecutive chances. One of them, a 52nd minute header from Christian Benitez, forced Corona into a right-handed reaction save. Four minutes later, Corona hauled in a header from Juan Carlos Medina without any issue.
But 'La Máquina', which used the counterattack to create danger, failed to craft another goal. In the 67th minute, Javier Orozco found himself alone in the area after America defender Maza Rodriguez slipped. The 25-year-old forward's resulting shot sailed wide of the far post.
At the end, Cruz Azul maintained its lead and now the Copa MX champion will try to earn a historic double in Sunday's second leg at the Estadio Azteca.