Perhaps losing in the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals was a good thing for Santos.
In two games since their tough ouster from the regional championships at the hands of Atlante, Santos have won both of their league games. On Sunday, Santos destroyed Atlas by a 4-1 score.
Santos scored twice on either side of halftime. Christian Benitez scored goals number two and four while Atlas contributed an own goal to the hosts' cause.
Santos improved to 4-4-6 and moved to within five points of third-place Monterrey. With three Jornadas remaining, Santos' work is difficult but the club still have a fighting chance.
Santos manager Sergio Bueno said the victory was significant for that reason.
"It motivates us," Bueno said. "We have three very important games left and our hope is to win all three. We can't get ahead of ourselves, though, but after victories the week's worth of work is made easier."
Despite the seemingly comfortable victory, Bueno said the visitors were a handful.
"Throughout the entire game, Atlas were dangerous and played well," Bueno said. "They forced us to remain disciplined and focused."
Atlas, meanwhile, remained in second place in Group 2 as Jaguares and San Luis both lost.