TORREON, Mexico - Santos and 10-man Monterrey played to a scoreless tie in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final Wednesday night at the Estadio Corona.
The game was a rematch of last year's final, won by Monterrey, 3-2 on aggregate. It was the first time that either played in a CCL match that finished goalless.
The second leg will be played May 1 at the Estadio Tecnologico in Monterrey. The confederation's champion advances to the FIFA Club World Cup this December in Morocco.
Monterrey, the two-time defending champion, was reduced to 10 men in the 66th minute, when Mexican referee Roberto Garcia sent Cesar Delgado off with a straight red card for a late challenge on Herculez Gomez.
The United States international came on for an injured Oribe Peralta 13 minutes earlier.
In a closely contested first half that saw the two Mexican squads combine for five yellow cards, Monterrey had the first scoring chance as Humberto Suazo nearly capitalized on a poor clearance by Felipe Baloy. But the Chilean international, who took a pass from Delgado, turned and fired from 10 meters, which was saved by Oswaldo Sanchez.
In the 16th minute, Santos had its first dangerous chance, when Carlos Darwin Quintero tapped from the edge of the six-yard box, but Jonathan Orozco was there to get a piece of the shot as the host had one of its four first-half corner kicks.
Three minutes later, Suazo turned provider, playing a through ball into the box to Delgado, but Sanchez pounced off his line to make a save at the edge of the six before Edgar Lugo cleared.
On the half hour mark, Aldo De Nigris had his first sniff at goal, turning and firing an effort from 20 meters that went right at Sanchez.
Three minutes into the second half, Suazo's open header from 10 meters froze Sanchez, but the hammered off the post.
In the 53rd minute, Monterrey midfielder Walter Ayovi picked up a deflected cross, but his shot was off the target.
Four minutes from full time, Quintero sped toward the box and fed Gomez to his right. But Darvin Chavez blocked the shot and the ball went out for Santos' seventh corner.
In the second minute of second half stoppage time, Leobardo Lopez made a desperation tackle in the box to ensure Gomez didn't latch on to Mauro Cejas' cross near the endline in the game's final scoring chance.