La Guaira ran out 1-0 winners in their first ever appearance in the Copa Libertadores.
In front of an empty Estadio Olímpico in Caracas, the Venezuelan side edged Peruvian outfit Real Garcilaso in a tense game.
Despite the historical occasion, the teams squared off under an eerily muted atmosphere as widespread protests in the Venezuelan capital meant the game had to be played behind closed doors.
After a cagey start, Garcilaso’s Javier Núñez sparked the game into life with a low, right-footed effort in the 26th minute that fizzed past the post.
Moments later, José Velásquez, making his debut for the Venezuelans, prevented Cristian Souza from opening the scoring with a heroic off-the-line clearance after the Uruguayan’s shot snuck under Mario Santilli and towards goal.
In the 32nd minute, Edwin Peraza produced the hosts’ first real chance of the game, sending a Juan Azócar cross from a corner whiskers wide of the near post with an audacious back-heeled flick.
The teams went into the halftime break scoreless and continued in a similar vein after the restart with neither team creating much in the way of clear-cut opportunities.
The hosts’ over reliance on Jesús Lugo was telling, while the Peruvians showed signs of still getting to grips with new manager Héctor Tapia's instructions.
Luis Cabezas’s first notable contribution for La Guaira came near the hour mark when his left-footed effort was blocked by the Luis Ortiz. Juan Azócar should have scored from the resulting corner, but instead sent a free header wide.
La Guaira finally made the breakthrough in the 70th minute when Azócar struck a long-range shot past the outstretched hands of Ortiz and into the bottom of corner of the net.
Garcilaso had a goal ruled out in the 79th minute after Andrés Robles tapped-in a Danilo Carando header from an offside position.
Daniel Farías’ men will take a 1-0 lead into next week’s second leg encounter in Cuzco, hoping to progress to the second stage of qualification, where the 2016 Copa Libertadores champions, Atlético Nacional of Colombia, await.