Mexico City:Ignacio Scocco scored twice to lead the eighth-seeded Pumas to a 3-0 thrashing of Santos in the first leg of the Mexican Apertura semifinals on Thursday.
Scocco, a striker from Argentina, scored in the 26th and 54th minutes with some help from Brazil's Leandro Augusto.
Earlier in the game, Augusto helped set up Hector Moreno, who scored his goal on a header for Pumas, which can lose by two goals in the second leg next Sunday at Corona Stadium and still make the finals for the first time since 2004, when they won two titles in a row.
"It's a good lead ... but Santos is a great opponent and a very tough competitor when playing at home, so this is not a definitive lead," Scocco said. "We played well, now we have to maintain this over there."
Santos, from the northern city of Torreon, was undefeated at home this season, including a 3-2 victory over Pumas in week 11.
Santos will try to avoid the "curse" of the top seeded team. In the short history of this tournament, played since 1996, only two teams have won championships after leading the league in the regular season. Pachuca did it twice and Toluca three times.