There were plenty of talking points in the latest round of games in the major leagues outside Europe. Robinho and Roberto Ayala enjoyed contrasting fortunes as they made high-profile returns home, there were goals galore on a record-breaking day in Argentina, and the title race began to take shape in Mexico. FIFA.com takes a closer look.
Brazilian state championships: Robinho steals the show
The semi-final line-up for the Taca Guanabara - the first half of the Campeonato Carioca - was decided, with four famous names all advancing. Flamengo beat Boavista 2-1 to tee-up a tie with Botafogo, who saw off Resende 5-2, while Fluminense will meet Vasco Da Gama in the other semi following their respective draws with Olaria and Madure.
Big game: Robinho was Santos’s saviour as they took the honours in the game of the day in the Campeonato Paulista. The Manchester City loanee jumped off the bench to secure a 2-1 win over Sao Paulo with a classy backheel. The result kept O Peixe at the top of the table ahead of Corinthians, who put four goals past Sertaozinho without reply.
Headline-grabbers: Sebastian Abreu of Botafogo and Gremio’s Borges enjoyed a productive weekend’s work, scoring hat-tricks in their sides’ respective defeats of Resende and Universidade.
Argentinian Clausura: Big names stumble as goals rain down
Even though there are still two games left to play, Matchday 3 has broken all records by yielding no fewer than 33 goals already. Two teams on the wrong end of heavy defeats were Racing Club and Boca Juniors, who both went down 4-2, to Arsenal and Newell’s Old Boys respectively.
Elsewhere, Estudiantes recovered from their midweek defeat in the La Plata derby to overcome San Lorenzo 2-0 - El Ciclón’s second consecutive defeat - while River Plate had to be content with a goalless draw with Rosario Central. Fellow big guns Independiente will be hoping for better luck away to Godoy Cruz on Monday. Velez moved to the top, meanwhile, with a 2-1 triumph at Gimnasia La Plata.
Big game: Lanus and Argentinos Juniors served up the game of the day, which ended in a 6-3 win for the latter.
Headline-grabber: After 14 years in Europe, Roberto Ayala made his return to Argentina with Racing Club. However, it was not a happy homecoming for El Ratón (The Mouse) as his side slid closer to the relegation dog-fight with a 4-2 loss at home to Arsenal.
Mexican Clausura: Guadalajara win again
Goals in last 15 minutes from Omar Bravo and Javier Hernandez secured a vital win for Guadalajara at Queretaro. El Rebaño Sagrado lead the way in Group 1 with a 100 per cent record, and are threatening to sweep all before them this season. Pachuca, 2-0 winners over San Luis, are on top in Group 2, while America fell 1-0 at Atlas, who have now won three games in a row.
Big game: Santos Laguna produced a late burst to see off Cruz Azul 2-0 and stay in pole position in Group 3. Colombian striker Darwin Quintero opened the scoring after 83 minutes, with Matias Vuoso clinching the three points for Los Cementeros two minutes later.
Headline-grabbers: Estudiantes Tecos ended a dismal run of five defeats in all competitions when they overpowered Jaguares 3-0 to move off the bottom of Group 3.
In the Australian A-League, a well-taken penalty by Paul Ifill gave Wellington Phoenix a 1-0 win over third-placed Gold Coast United and moved them up to fourth and right into the play-off frame.
SuperSport United held firm in the South African Premiership, easing past Free State Stars 2-0 to stay three points clear of Mamelodi Sundowns.
Uruguayan league leaders Penarol ran out handsome 3-0 winners over Racing Montevideo, with Antonio Pacheco scoring twice for Los Aurinegros. It was not such a good day for eternal rivals Nacional, who lost to Defensor, Diego De Souza the solitary marksman.