Uruguayan giants Penarol were held to a goalless draw by Brazilian side Santos in the first leg of the Copa Libertadores final in Montevideo on Wednesday.
The hosts had the better chances in front of a crowd of 60,000 but could not take them to leave next Wednesday's second leg in Sao Paulo finely poised.
Penarol had their first sight of goal a minute before the break when defender Guillermo Rodriguez could only head a cross straight at goalkeeper Rafael when unmarked. Dario Rodriguez then fired over the top as the Uruguayans ended the first half strongly.
But they had goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa to thank for preventing them from going behind soon after the break as he kept out a Ze Eduardo shot, with the same player then heading a Alex Sandro cross narrowly past the far post. Penarol had a goal disallowed four minutes from time, Diego Alonso ruled offside when he shot home.
Penarol forward Alejandro Martinuccio admitted his side were disappointed not to have scored. "This result is not fair," he said. "Penarol played good football and had some opportunities to score. I hope we can score at least one in Brazil. The second leg will be similar to tonight's game and I hope that is the case because we played much better than Santos."
Goalkeeper Sosa added: "We should have made home advantage count, but Penarol have already recorded good results away from home so anything can happen."
Santos defender Durval was satisfied with the result. He added on Fox Sports: "We handled the pressure, we did not concede and we hope we can play better in the return match in front of our supporters."