Humberto Suazo struck twice in the second half to give Monterrey a 2-0 victory over Santos in the first leg of the all-Mexican CONCACAF Champions League final on Wednesday.
The win took Monterrey's winning streak at home to nine, but they will have to travel next Wednesday to Torreon, where Santos are unbeaten in their last 10 matches.
The winner of the regional club championship books a berth to the FIFA Club World Cup.
Suazo gave the reigning champions the upper hand in the 60th minute, as Aldo De Nigris's cross from the right found the lively Chilean, who fired a right-footed shot into the net.
Suazo netted again four minutes from time with a superb solo run that saw him evade four defenders and finish with a shot that Santos keeper Oswaldo Sanchez couldn't stop.
Monterrey beat Major League Soccer's Real Salt Lake 3-2 on aggregate in last year's final.