Boca Juniors, Sao Paulo, Suwon Bluewings and Bidvest Wits went into the weekend having dreamt up scripts. They transpired in Argentina, Brazil, Korea Republic and South Africa, with the aforementioned quartet winning and their two closest rivals for gold slipping up. With late drama in play-off first legs in the USA, FIFA.com reflects on a weekend of title twists outside of Europe.
Argentinian Apertura: Boca enjoy perfect weekend
The latest leg in the race for glory belonged to Boca Juniors. Juan Roman Riquelme's delightful seventh-minute free-kick, his first goal of the competition, banked them a 1-0 win over leaders San Lorenzo. The result lifted Los Xeneizes second, behind their victims on goal difference.
Tigre dropped to third, level on points with the front two, after losing 2-0 at Argentinos Juniors, while a lone Rolando Schiavi penalty reaped Newell's Old Boys a victory over Rosario Central that moved them three points off the summit.
Big game: Lanus overcame River Plate 2-0 to move fifth and leave their opponents bottom.
Headline-grabber: Arsenal's Luciano Leguizamon followed up his midweek double by scoring the only goal against the club from whom he signed, Gimnasia La Plata.
Brasileirao: Paulistas speed first and second
A vast crowd watched the F1 World Championship reach a breathtaking climax in the city on Sunday, but over 55,000 nevertheless watched Sao Paulo seize pole position for the first time this season. Dagoberto's extravagant goal highlighted a 3-0 victory over Internacional, and O Tricolor Paulista also benefited from results elsewhere. Gremio and Flamengo both drew at home to struggling sides, Figueirense and Portuguesa respectively, while Cruzeiro lost 3-0 at Goias.
Palmeiras capitalised. Substitute Leo Lima's last-gasp goal against Santos, his former team, stole O Verdão a 2-1 win that moved them up to second.
Big game: Renato Gaucho got one over on the team he guided into the Copa Libertadores final earlier this year, masterminding Vasco da Gama's 1-0 win at Rio rivals Fluminense in their relegation battle.
Headline-grabber: Ferreira ended his goal-drought in style, scoring twice as basement side Ipatinga beat Coritiba 2-0 to climb to within four points of safety.
American Major League Soccer: Late drama in play-offs
Real Salt Lake, Columbus Crew and Houston Dynamo struck late first-leg goals to make themselves favourites to reach the last four. Yura Movsisyan's clever flick with his heel in the 90th minute grabbed RSL the only goal at home to Chivas USA
Kansas City Wizards appeared set to take a one-goal cushion to Ohio next Sunday. Davy Arnaud's opener edged them in front, but the Crew made a numerical advantage - a consequence of Herculez Gomez's 75th-minute sending off - count when substitute Steven Lenhart equalised in stoppage time.
Big game: Houston Dynamo's 1-1 draw at New York Red Bulls placed them securely in the driving seat to advance. Dominic Kinnear's team have a formidable record at home, while their opponents claimed an away victory just once during the regular season.
Headline-grabber: Sierra Leone's Kei Kamara rose from the bench to cancel out Juan Pablo Angel's opener for the Red Bulls.
Korean K-League: Bluewings hit the bull's eye
The penultimate round of the regular season followed the wishes of Suwon Bluewings. With their two rivals for the automatic place in the overall final falling to surprise defeats, goals from Bae Ki-Jong, Baek Ji-Hoon and Seo Dong-Hyeon earned Cha Bum-Kun's side a 3-0 win over Chunnam Dragons and first place on goal difference.
FC Seoul, three points clear going into the weekend, lost 2-0 at second-bottom Busan I'Park. The capital team's goal difference is now two shy of the Bluewings'. Seongnam Chunma fell three points off the pace courtesy of a 2-1 reverse at home to Jeonbuk Motors.
Big games: Gyeongnam edged visiting Ulsan Horang-I 1-0, but Incheon United beat Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix by the same scoreline to stay one point clear in the race for the sixth and final play-off berth.
Headline-grabber: Teenager Lee Hyun-Seung struck a superb winner from distance to keep Jeonbuk two points off a play-off place.
South African Premiership: Full marks to Clever Boys
Bidvest Wits took care of business at Thanda Royal Zulu, and witnessed the top two going into Round 6 stumble. Sifiso Myeni missed three great chances in a goalless first half, but his 53rd-minute penalty proved enough for the Clever Boys to go level on points with leaders SuperSport United, who lost 1-0 at Ajax Cape Town.
Arthur Bartman emerged as Mamelodi Sundowns' nemesis in Pretoria. The veteran goalkeeper produced a series of saves throughout the game, and substitute Jimmy Zakazaka's late winner snatched Bay United a 2-1 win that left their hosts three points adrift of the front pair.
Big game: Trailing 2-0 at home to Bloemfontein Celtic with less than 15 minutes remaining, substitutes Ryan Botha and Elton Morelato earned Moroka Swallows a point and denied their guests a first win of the campaign.
Headline-grabber: Gert Schalkwyk, Reneilwe Letsholonyane and Jose Torrealba scored Kaizer Chiefs' goals in a 3-0 reverse of AmaZulu, but the elegant creativity of David Mathebula most caught the eye.