First-half goals from William Tesillo and Angel Mena sent Leon to a 2-1 win over Los Angeles FC in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday in Leon, Mexico.
Denis Bouanga got a goal back for LAFC six minutes into second-half stoppage time.
The second leg of the total-goal final is scheduled for Sunday night in Los Angeles. The away-goals rule, utilized in each round of the competition, is not being used in the final. If the aggregate score is level after 90 minutes on Sunday, the teams will play 30 minutes of extra time, then go to penalty kicks if necessary.
Tesillo scored in the eighth minute, heading home a corner kick from Mena.
The hosts doubled the lead just before halftime. LAFC's Ryan Hollingshead was called for a handball in the penalty area, and Mena drilled the ensuing penalty kick into the top left corner of the net in the fifth minute of first-half stoppage time.
LAFC halved the deficit on a last-minute counterattack. Sergi Palencia dribbled the ball down the right flank, then crossed to the middle, where Bouanga flicked home a right-footed shot. Mateusz Bogusz was credited with an assist for a slight touch on the ball before it reached Bouanga.
LAFC are playing in their second CCL final, having lost to Mexico's Tigres UANL in 2020. Leon are also competing in their second CCL final after falling to Saprissa in 1993.
Mexican teams won 16 consecutive CCL championships before the Seattle Sounders snapped that streak last year. The winner of the competition earns a spot in the FIFA Club World Cup, which will be played in December in Saudi Arabia.
--Field Level Media