Tensions near the top
© AFP

Championship races are tight all over Planet Football in early April 2008. After this weekend's contests only one point separates first and second in Argentina, Mexico and South Africa. Join FIFA.com for a rundown of the action from Asia, Oceania and the Americas.

Argentine Clausura: River hold their nerve
River Plate jumped to the top of the Argentine table at the weekend with a 1-0 win on the road at Banfield. Boca Juniors, River's eternal rivals and near neighbours, are now on 17 points in third, three points behind second placed side Estudiantes. San Martin de San Juan are in fourth place with 16.

Big game: Boca Juniors fell behind River Plate after managing only a 1-1 draw against Lanus at their La Bombonera at the weekend. Martin Palermo scored for the capital giants, but it wasn't enough for a much-needed haul of three as they slip back into second.
Headline-grabber: Santiago Gabriel Salcido scored the only goal for Newell's Old Boys against Rosario Central to settle yet another heated Clasico Rosarino and send 'the Lepers' leap-frogging over their local rivals and into fifth place.

Brazil State Championships: Ponte Preta and Sao Paulo rule
Sao Paulo beat Juventus 3-1 and will now move on to play Palmeiras in the Paulista Championship semi-final round. Ponte Preta also booked their place in the last four against Guaratingueta after a 2-2 draw with Santos. Corinthians, despite being widely fancied, go out after a loss to Noroeste.

Big game: Corinthians needed a win at Noroesta, but despite getting two goals through Andres Santos and Finazzi, they went down after the hosts roared to grab three.
Headline-grabber: Adriano, on loan from Inter Milan following a string of personal problems, scored in Sao Paulo's crucial win over Juventus. His 39th minute header is his sixth goal in four games for the Brazilian giants.

Mexican Clausura: Tight at the top
Chivas Guadalajara remain on top in Mexico, but only by a solitary point after drawing 1-1 at Atlante. The Goats are now on 26 points and San Luis FC are putting on the pressure after a win at Pumas UNAM that puts them within a point in second. Cruz Azul and Toluca are tied for third on 22 after the latest round.

Big game: With Chivas only managing a draw, San Luis FC's heroic win in Mexico City, 3-2 over Pumas, moved them into touching distance of first place. Braulio Luna scored twice and Tressor Malher Moreno added another goal to edge the result
Headline-grabber: San Luis' former Mexico international, Luna, brought his tally in the Clausura to three goals in 13 games with a pair of well-taken strikes.

Japanese J-league: Antlers stay perfect
Champions Kashima Antlers routed JEF United Chiba 4-1 to keep up their perfect start to the 2008 campaign. The lopsided result has the Kashima-based side in first-place with 15 points after five games - two clear of chasers Nagoya Grampus who beat Yokohama Marinos 2-0 on Saturday. Gamba Osaka beat Shimizu S-Pulse to keep hold of third.

Big game: Tokyo Verdy pulled off their first win since returning to the top flight, beating Vissel Kobe by a lone goal from Kawano in the 37th minute. The result, though not likely to worry the top dogs, is a major victory for the capital club and sees them up to 14th in the table.
Headline-grabber: Kashima's Brazilian forward Marquinhos kept up his amazing scoring record at the weekend, scoring the second in Antlers' win over JEF United to bring his tally to five goals in five games.

South African PSL: SuperSport stumble
SuperSport United of Pretoria remain in the driving seat in South Africa, but only by one point after falling on the road. The leaders were soundly beaten 2-0 by AmaZulu but remain on top with 44 points. Ajax Cape Town, with 43, are closing in on top spot once again, while Santos are in third after a resounding 4-0 victory over Black Leopards.

Big game: SuperSport went in to their away contest on the end of a fine run of form, but the hosts were in no mood to lay down. AmaZulu's Siyabonga Mkhwanazi and Jan Sillo each scored to leave the title race wide open and allow Ajax Cape Town and Santos to close to within one and three points off the leaders respectively.
Headline grabber: Romano Scott of Santos scored two goals in a 4-0 drubbing of relegation candidates Black Leopards as the so-called 'people's team' stay on course to challenge the top two. It is the player's second two-goal day this season.

Elsewhere
Waitakere United got the point they needed on Sunday in Otago, drawing 2-2. The result guarantees last year's FIFA Club World Cup finalists the New Zealand Minor Premiership trophy and a spot in the Grand Final. Auckland City beat Wellington 3-2 to book home advantage in the first leg of the Preliminary Final, the winners of which will go on to meet Waitakere.

In China, Dalian Shide drew 1-1 at home with Changsha Ginde while Beijing Guoan and Shandong Luneng shared the spoils by the same score. Shanghai Shenhua laid claim to top spot Super League after managing to beat Tianjin Teda 2-1.