Spirited victories earn rewards

Draws were the order of the day in Chile and Mexico, while Chinese Premier League followers were given just six goals to savour in eight fixtures. One place where fans did have plenty to celebrate was in Argentina, particularly in Velez Sarsfield's impressive 4-2 comeback success over title rivals Colon. FIFA.com brings you some of the highlights of this weekend's action from outside Europe.

Argentinian Clausura: Leaders prove their mettle
Velez Sarsfield pulled off a remarkable fightback at Colon to keep hold of first place and maintain their unbeaten record. Lanus took advantage of Colon's defeat to move into second, a point behind Velez, with a 1-0 victory at Godoy Cruz. River Plate, in fifth, eased the pain of their midweek Copa Libertadores exit with a narrow success over humble Gimnasia de Jujuy, Radamel Falcao firing the game's only goal.

Big game: Two down at the break and convincingly outplayed by hosts Colon, Ricardo Gareca's Velez were a team transformed after the interval, running out eventual 4-2 victors thanks to goals from the Uruguayan Hernan Rodrigo Lopez (2), Jonathan Cristaldo and Juan Martinez.
Headline-grabber: Relegation-threatened Rosario Central, under new coach Miguel Angel Russo, boosted their survival hopes with a deserved 2-0 home win over struggling Boca Juniors. Los Xeneizes, with whom Russo won the Libertadores in 2007, drop to 15th and have just three points more than bottom side Argentinos Juniors.

Mexican Clausura: Stalemates dominate
There were no fewer than five draws in nine games, though Tecos were able to edge a step closer to the end-of-season Liguilla (title play-offs) and Pachuca ensured their involvement with a 2-1 success over America. Indios from Ciudad Juarez boosted their hopes of avoiding relegation (determined by points average over three years) with a 2-0 victory over Puebla.

Big game:
The clásico between two of Mexican football's heavyweights, Pumas and Guadalajara, ended in a tepid 1-1 draw at the capital's Olimpico Universitario stadium in an encounter played behind closed doors due to the outbreak of swine flu. Javier Hernandez opened the scoring for visitors Chivas, with Juan Carlos Cacho heading home from a corner to level for the home side late on.
Headline-grabber: Pachuca secured their place in the Liguilla by beating Cruz Azul, thanks in large part to a hat-trick from striker Ulises Mendivil. The win takes the Group 1 leaders to 30 points, level with overall table front-runners Toluca, who were held to a goalless draw at Atlas.

American Major League Soccer: Holders still without a win
Chivas USA stayed top of the Western Conference by beating Dallas and now enjoy a four-point lead over Seattle Sounders. Things are tighter over in the Eastern Conference, where Toronto hold a one-point edge over Chicago Fire, who have played a game fewer. Reigning champions Columbus Crew are still yet to taste victory this campaign after a 2-2 draw against the Chicago high-flyers, while Los Angeles Galaxy are also without a league win in 2009 following their 1-1 stalemate with Colorado Rapids.

Big game: DC United remain in fourth spot in the East after a 3-2 away win over New York Red Bulls, who are flailing down in second-bottom. The New York outfit led 2-1 going into the final minute of normal time, only for United's Luciano Emilio and Chris Pontius to take full advantage of defensive uncertainty to turn the scoreline on its head and end a run of two consecutive defeats.
Headline-grabber: Seattle Sounders beat San Jose Earthquakes 2-0 via goals from Steve Zakuani and Brad Evans, thus bouncing back after two defeats in succession. Goalkeeper Kasey Keller had a key role to play on his return from a one-match suspension and has yet to concede a goal so far this campaign. The clean sheet took him to 389 minutes without conceding, breaking the record of 375 minutes set by Red Bulls custodian Ronald Waterreus in 2007.

Chinese Super League: Goals at a premium
Henan Jianye stay top of the standings in China PR despite being held to a draw by Jiangsu Sainty, after closest chasers Shanghai Shenhua were beaten at Changchun Yatai. The Shanghai outfit drop down to fifth spot, after wins for Tianjin Teda, Shandong Luneng and their conquerors Changchun, who are second, third and fourth respectively.

Big game: A solitary goal for Changchun's Cao Tianbao was enough to sink two-time champions Shenhua and continue his side's push up the table.
Headline-grabber: The weekend's games were notable for a lack of goals, with two scoreless draws and six 1-0 results from eight matches. Was this paltry six-goal tally thanks to inspired goalkeeping or did the division's strikers leave their shooting boots at home?

Bayelsa United's charge to the Nigerian Premier League title gathered pace after a comfortable 2-0 win over bottom side Nasarawa United was allied to a 1-0 defeat for closest challengers Heartland at Gateway. United are now eight points clear, though Heartland have played one game fewer. Back in third are Enyimba, who lost 2-0 away to Warri Wolves and are now just a point clear of their conquerors, having played a game more.

Over in the Chilean Apertura there were five draws in eight games, including 1-1 results for leaders Union Espanola away to Universidad Catolica and for second-placed Universidad de Chile at fellow scholars Universidad de Concepcion. This keeps Union seven points clear at the top, though Universidad de Chile have played one game fewer. Traditional superpowers Colo-Colo remain mired down in 14th place and their hopes of reaching the title-deciding Liguilla appear to be slipping away. Following the departure of coach Marcelo Barticcioto, El Cacique were held 2-2 at home by Huachipato.