Luis Reyes and Julian Quiñones scored the goals that put Atlas one step away from revalidating their scepter of the Clausura de México tournament by winning 2-0 over Pachuca Thursday in the first leg of the final.
Reyes, a left-back, joined the attack and scored the first goal of the match in the 26th minute, while Quiñones, a Colombian striker, made a great individual play to extend the lead to 90 for the locals.
To become only the third two-time champion since the short tournaments were established in the country in 1996, Atlas is enough for any draw or defeat, even by a goal, next Sunday night at the Hidalgo stadium in the central city of Pachuca.
Pumas (2004) and León in the Apertura 2013 and Clausura 2014 are the only teams to endorse a crown in short tournaments.
Pachuca, who was the leader in the regular tournament, needs a win by two goals difference to send the game to lengthen.
In the final, unlike in the previous stages, the position in the table during the regular season is not taken into account as a tiebreaker criterion.
The Tuzos, led by Uruguayan Guillermo Almada, are seeking the seventh title in their history, the first since 2016.
Atlas took the lead when José Abella sent a cross down the right into the box, where Reyes appeared to connect with a powerful header that left Argentine goalkeeper Óscar Ustari static.
The Tuzos reacted and generated dangerous plays with shots from Kevin Álvarez in the 29th and 45th minutes, both contained in a hurry by Colombian goalkeeper Camilo Vargas, who was again a figure rejecting a header from Víctor Guzmán.
The Foxes had a great opportunity with a volley from Argentine striker Julio Furch that went over the side.
Pachuca flirted with the equalizer in the 57th with a shot from outside the box from Argentine striker Nicolas Ibanez that crashed over the crossbar.
The Tuzos were again dangerous with a shot from Alvarez that went over the side in the 68th minute.
The visiting team dominated the final minutes but no longer seriously disturbed the goal defended by Vargas.
Atlas extended his lead in stoppage time when Quiñones took a ball down the right-wing, took off two defenders, and converted with a powerful shot through the center of Ustari’s goal.