Nicolas Sanchez scored on a header in the 43rd minute, and Monterrey earned a 1-0 road win over Tigres in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Tuesday in San Nicolas de los Garza, Mexico.
The second leg of the total-goals series will be played May 1 at Monterrey's home stadium in Guadalupe, Mexico. The home venues of the two Liga MX rivals are separated by just seven miles.
On the goal late in the first half, Monterrey captain Dorlan Pabon sent in a corner kick that Sanchez met at the penalty spot. Sanchez's header sailed into the top-right corner of the net.
Monterrey were beaten at home by Tigres in the 2017 Liga MX final, but manager Diego Alonso is confident they will not make the same mistakes.
"It's always better for us to play at home, but we're have no fear of playing on any pitch," he said in his postmatch news conference. "We need to do the same at home and away."
Meanwhile, Tigres boss Ricardo Ferretti is disappointed at his team's showing in the first half.
"The fact is they have a one-goal advantage," Ferretti said. "What we cannot do is gift them 45 minutes like we did today.
"We played with great enthusiasm but we gave up a lot of ground in the first half."
Regardless of the winner, a Mexican team will capture the title for the 14th year in a row. Monterrey is seeking to add a fourth crown, having prevailed three times in a row from 2011-13. Tigres, the losing finalist in 2016 and 2017, has never won the CONCACAF Champions League.