Sao Paulo and Argentine side Tigre drew 0-0 on Wednesday in the first-leg of the Copa Sudamericana final, which should give a slight edge to the Brazilians in the second leg in a week.
Sao Paulo, one of South America's most decorated clubs, had more possession but failed to break down the modest Argentine side, which is playing in its first international final.
The second leg of the final is Dec. 12 at Sao Paulo.
Both teams played with 10 men after Sao Paulo's Luis Fabiano and Tigre's Alejandro Donatti were shown red cards in the 15th minute by referee Antonio Arias.
Amid pushing and shoving, Fabiano - the former Porto and Sevilla forward - kicked out in the direction of Donatti, but television replays showed he missed. Donatti, after a slight delay, crumbled to the pitch and was sent off for diving.
The match was fast-paced at the start with Lucas threatening for Sao Paulo in the second minute, forcing Tigre keeper Damian Albil to make a diving save.
Sao Paulo had most of the possession in the first half, but got few clear chances. Tigre looked more threatening late in the half, trying to entertain local fans in the match played at Boca Junior's La Bombonera stadium.
Tigre came out more aggressively in the second half but failed to generate much attack, foiled by Sao Paulo's two central defenders Rhodolfo and Rafael Toloi. As the match wore on, both teams had problems stringing together passes.Lucas again had the best chance for Sao Paulo in the second half, breaking down the right side in the 81st, evading several defenders before cutting the ball harmlessly into the area.
Sao Paulo is one of South America's big clubs and has won the Copa Libertadores - the equivalent of Europe's Champions League - three times. It has also won the Club World Cup once, and twice won the Intercontinental Cup, the predecessor to the Club World Cup.
Tigre has never won an Argentine first-division title.
The match was played at Boca Juniors' La Bombonera stadium as it offered more security than Tigre's 25,000-seat stadium. The Copa Sudamericana is South America's No. 2 club trophy behind the more prestigious Copa Libertadores.