Cruz Azul pressed forward early on as they looked to make their home field advantage count, but Atlas weathered the pressure and soon began to create chances of their own.
Just before halftime, the visitors took the lead. Fidel Martínez sent his left-footed shot past Jesús Corona to make it 0-1 in the 41st minute.
It wasn’t all good news for the Rojinegros, though, as goalkeeper Óscar Ustari took a nasty fall minutes later and appeared to dislocate his elbow. Ustari was subbed out for backup keeper Miguel Ángel Fraga, who started in goal in the second half.
Cruz Azul had the better of the play in the second stanza as they desperately looked for a tying goal. But Fraga was unbeatable and La Máquina were frustrated time and again.
They were also lucky not to give up a penalty kick after referee Adonai Escobedo ruled that a foul that had appeared to happen just inside the box occurred outside of it.
Aside from that ensuing free kick and a shot by Daniel Álvarez that Corona saved, Atlas didn’t come particularly close to adding to their lead. But in the end their defense did enough to protect the one-goal margin and the Rojinegros left the Estadio Azul with all three points.
With the 0-1 win, Atlas reaches 10 points while Cruz Azul still has six.
Cruz Azul: José de Jesús Corona, Adrián Aldrete (Jorge Benítez 56′), Julio César Domínguez, Julián Velázquez, Omar Mendoza, Ángel Mena, Rafael Baca, Gabriel Peñalba (Richard Ruíz 75′), Joao Rojas (Christian Giménez 46′), Martín Rodríguez, Martín Cauteruccio.
Atlas: Óscar Ustari (Miguel Ángel Fraga 45′), Luis Reyes, Gaddi Aguirre, Leiton Jiménez, José Madueña, Bryan Garnica, Luis Robles, Javier Salas, Clifford Aboagye (Édgar Zaldívar 81′), Fidel Martínez (Daniel Álvarez 62′), Martín Barragán.