With only three games now remaining in Argentina, league leaders Velez Sarsfield were undone by Tigre, while Santos slumped to defeat to Botafogo on matchday two in Brazil. In the States there was a shock home loss for Real Salt Lake, and new champions were crowned in Uruguay, Bolivia and Venezuela.
FIFA.com has all the details on another busy league weekend in the Americas.
Argentina: Velez slip opens door for Godoy
With one eye on the second leg of their Copa Libertadores semi-final against Penarol, leaders Velez Sarsfield fielded a much-changed side against Tigre and paid the price, losing 2-1 to give Godoy Cruz the chance to move top if they beat Gimnasia on Monday. Third-placed Lanus are also in action on Monday and can close to within a point of Velez if they beat struggling Huracan. Elsewhere Boca Juniors and Independiente both won again to extend their unbeaten runs to seven and six games respectively. The duo are now five points off the lead with three rounds of games to go. In contrast, River Plate could only draw 0-0 with Olimpo in Bahia Blanca and are still stuck in the relegation zone.
Brazil: Santos slump, Bernardo strikes again
Like Velez, Libertadores semi-finalists Santos rested their first-teamers for their midweek meeting with Cerro Porteno, and like Velez they went down to defeat, 1-0 at Botafogo, their first reverse in 13 games since Muricy Ramalho took charge. The highest-scoring game on day two in the Brasileirao was Bahia’s 3-3 draw at home to Flamengo. The men on the scoresheet for Bahia were former Corinthians prodigy Lulinha and temperamental youngster Jobson, both of whom are looking to get their careers back on track. Another young star looking to do the same is Cruzeiro’s Bernardo, who had a spell on loan with Goias before they went down and is now working wonders at Vasco da Gama. The 21-year-old scored his third goal in two games in Vasco’s 3-0 defeat of America, a result that gives them a timely fillip ahead of their Brazilian Cup final against Coritiba.
American MLS: Home records fall
DC United ended Portland Timbers’ five-game unbeaten home run, a record for a team in their first season in the league. In a game that included a thrice-retaken penalty, DC ran out 3-2 winners to move up to fourth in the East, while Portland remain sixth in the West. “We got what we deserved: zero points,” said home coach John Spencer afterwards. Seattle Sounders put paid to Real Salt Lake’s 29-match undefeated streak at the Rio Tinto Stadium, winning 2-1 after the hosts had Jamison Olave sent off. Also making the headlines were Eastern frontrunners Philadelphia Union, who won 6-2 at Toronto.
A handful of South American titles were decided at the weekend, among them the Uruguayan Clausura, which was claimed by Nacional after a 3-0 victory over Apertura winners Defensor Sporting. The two sides will face off again on 12 June to decide the overall champion for the 2010/2011 season.
Coached by Guillermo Hoyos, Bolivar won their 17th Bolivian league title and their first for three years after coming from behind to down La Paz 2-1 at home, goals from Ze Carlos and William Ferreira cancelling out Gary Paz’s opener.
In Venezuela a goalless draw at home to Apertura champions Zamora gave Deportivo Tachira a 1-0 aggregate win in the Clausura championship final, earning them their seventh league title.
In Colombia meanwhile, Millonarios, La Equidad and Deportes Tolima all won through to the Apertura championship semi-finals at the weekend. Joining them there will be the winners of the tie between Atletico Nacional and Deportivo Cali, the second leg of which is played on Tuesday.
And finally, in Chile Universidad Catolica beat Colo Colo to set up a league play-off semi-final with Union La Calera, with Universidad de Chile and O’Higgins meeting in the other semi. The first legs will be played on Wednesday and Thursday next week, with the return matches taking place the following weekend.