MEXICO CITY Dec 12 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)