From Argentina in the south to the USA in the north, there
were a host of fascinating league encounters taking place across
the Americas at the weekend. In Uruguay, Defensor Sporting drew
first blood in the two-legged championship play-off with Penarol,
while Argentinian big guns Racing Club were condemned to the
FIFA.com picks out the highlights from the latest
round of championship action around the planet.
Argentinian Clausura: Uncertain future for Racing Club
With River Plate having sealed the title a fortnight ago, all eyes were focused on the other end of the table and Racing Club's struggle to avoid the ignominy of the relegation play-offs. But things did not work out for the Academia as they went down 1-0 on their trip to Colon, a result that means Juan Manuel Llop's side will now have to do battle with Belgrano to avoid dropping down to the second division for the first time in 25 years.
Already there are San Martin and Olimpo, whose fate was sealed on Sunday when they lost 2-1 to Estudiantes, while Gimnasia Jujuy drew 2-2 with San Lorenzo and will face Union of Santa Fe in the second relegation play-off.
Big game: Champions River Plate rounded off their
triumphant domestic campaign by coming from behind to win 3-2 at
Banfield. A double from Radamel Falcao Garcia and a Matias
Abelairas strike cancelled out a brace from Dario Cvitanich, who
heads off to join Dutch giants Ajax after topping the Clausura
scoring charts with 13 goals.
Headline-grabbers: Boca Juniors ended the season on a high as they overwhelmed Tigre 6-2 to claim second place behind their eternal rivals. Over the season as whole, however, the Xeneizes picked up more points than any other side.
Uruguayan League: Advantage Defensor Sporting
Over on the other side of the River Plate, Defensor Sporting downed Penarol 2-1 in the first leg of the championship play-off final at the Estadio Centenario. The Apertura champions and biggest points-scorers of the season overall, Defensor are on the brink of landing their fourth league crown, while the Aurinegros, the winners of the Clausura, must prevail in the return leg to force a third and final match. Andres Lamas and Pablo Gaglianone were the men on target for the Violeta, Gaglianone scoring from the spot, with Matias Aguirregaray hitting back for Mario Saralegui's team.
Headline-grabber: As well lifting the 2007/08 title, the play-off winners will also book themselves a place in next year's Copa Libertadores.
Brasileiro: Flamengo bounce back in style
On Matchday 7 in Brazil, Flamengo recovered from last week's reverse by Sao Paulo to beat Ipatinga 3-1 on the road and cling on to first place. Juan, Ibson and Kleberson got the goals for the Rio outfit, who are tied on 16 points with Gremio and Cruzeiro but lead the way courtesy of their superior goal difference.
The chasing duo both won 3-0 at the weekend, Gremio seeing off Atletico Paranaense thanks to a hat-trick of penalties from Roger, and the Belo Horizonte side cruising at home to Figueirense.
Big game: Goals from Alex Mineiro and Kleber
either side of the interval helped Palmeiras break Vasco Da
Gama's run of six consecutive wins at the Sao Januario and
climb up to fourth.
Headline-grabber: Goias' emphatic 4-0 victory at Santos plunged the Peixe into even greater trouble. Santos have now failed to win in five matches since their elimination from the Libertadores and are floundering in 18th position.
American MLS: As you were
Even though leaders New England Revolution fell 2-1 to Real Salt Lake in Utah there were no changes at the top of the Eastern Conference. The pacesetters went ahead through Adam Cristman, but a Jay Heaps goal on the counter and a fine finish from Tino Nunez extended the hosts' unbeaten home record at the Rice Eccles. The three points were not enough for Real Salt Lake to knock Los Angeles Galaxy of the top although the gap between the two is now down to two points.
Big game: The fans turning up at the Home Depot
Center on Saturday were treated to festival of goals when Columbus
Crew and the Galaxy played out an exciting 3-3 draw. Landon Donovan
scored two for the Western Conference leaders and Edson Buddle got
the other, with Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Brad Evans and Steven
Lenhart hitting back for the visitors.
Headline-grabber: Only six points separate the first six places in the Western Conference, which should ensure plenty of excitement right up to the final round of games.
Colombian League: Santa Fe keep America waiting
Preciado and Naijer were Independiente Santa Fe's goal heroes as they saw off America 2-0 to prevent the Rojos from booking their place in the season-ending play-off final. The men from Cali are still out front in Group A with nine points, however, two clear of Envigado, 1-0 victors against La Equidad.
Big game: Omar Perez and Miguel Caneo scored the
goals as Boyaca Chico and Independiente Medellin played out an
exciting 1-1 draw in Group B. Both sides are tied on six points
although Independiente are still in pole position courtesy of their
superior goal difference. With two games still to go, however,
Chico remain well in the hunt.
Headline-grabber: Ivan Velasquez hit the back of the net again in Quindio's 2-0 defeat of Deportivo Cali to take his career tally to 78 and his haul for the season to 13, making him the country's top scorer this term.