MEXICO CITY Dec 12 (Reuters) - Toluca took a big step towards winning the Mexican Apertura championship with a 2-0 win away to Cruz Azul in the first leg of the final.
The Red Devils were rarely troubled after scoring twice in the first quarter of Thursday night's match against a Cruz Azul side attempting to win their first title in 11 years.
Paraguay defender Paulo da Silva headed Toluca in front after 11 minutes at the Blue stadium from a cross supplied by Brazil-born Mexican international Antonio Naelson.
Sergio Ponce added the second in the 22nd minute when he scored with a 25-metre free kick after which Toluca, who have conceded only 17 goals in 22 games in the championship, were happy to sit back and soak up the pressure.
As their supporters flocked out of the stadium in the last 15 minutes, Cruz Azul nearly pulled one back in the last minute when Alejandro Vela's shot was turned away by Hernan Cristante.
Jaime Lozano was also close to pulling one back for the Blue Machine in injury-time.
Toluca host the return on Sunday. (Reporting by Carlos Calvo, editing by Rex Gowar)