Room shortage at the summit
© AFP

A mere point separates the front four in Brazil and Paraguay, and the top three in Korea Republic as the finish line approaches. With little between the title contenders in Argentina, early-season tests in South Africa and crucial play-offs in the USA, FIFA.com previews the forthcoming action from outside Europe.

Argentinian Apertura: Russo aims to haunt Boca
Miguel Angel Russo guided Boca Juniors to Copa Libertadores 2007 glory, but he now wants to put six points between his table-topping San Lorenzo side and third-placed former employers. Goalkeeper Agustin Orion has excelled for El Ciclón this term, and will try to stand resolute again as Juan Roman Riquelme, Lucas Viatri and Co attempt to honour club president Pedro Pompilio, who passed away on Thursday, with victory.

Tigre, behind the leaders on goal difference, will back Martin Morel to unlock second-bottom Argentinos Juniors, while fourth-placed Newell's Old Boys will look to end a run of three consecutive draws at home to struggling Rosario Central.

Big game: Rock-bottom River Plate will go for their first win in 11 attempts at sixth-placed Lanus, who are led by the competition's leading marksman Jose Sand.
Players to watch: Esteban Fuertes and Ruben Ramirez have scored five goals apiece in Colon's last four games, but San Martin's Daniel Vega will be eager to emerge the hero from their mid-table battle in Tucuman.

Brasileirao: Five-way fight
One point divides the leading quartet as Brazil's elite head into Round 33 of 38. Teenage sensation Douglas Costa will aim to inspire a reverse of Figueirense that would keep Gremio in command, and runners-up Sao Paulo will also expect a home victory over an Internacional side with one eye on their forthcoming Copa Sudamericana fixture.

Fourth-placed Palmeiras have a distinctly tougher test at cross-state rivals Santos, while Flamengo, three points off the pace in fifth, will charge Leo Moura and Marcelinho Paraiba with seeing off Portuguesa at the Maracana.

Big game: Hindered by suspensions, third-placed Cruzeiro will need in-form duo Wagner and Guilherme to be at their best away to Goias.
Players to watch: Santos's Kleber Pereira is the competition's top scorer on 21 goals, but Verdão striker Alex Mineiro is hot on his heels. Who will win the shoot-out between these friends on Sunday?

American Major League Soccer: Crew, Dynamo eye history
The last time Colombus Crew carried the best regular season record into MLS play-offs, they fell at the first hurdle. The three survivors from that 2004 team, Frankie Hejduk, Chad Marshall and Duncan Oughton, will join stand-outs Robbie Rogers, Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Alejandro Moreno in leading the Crew's fight to atone for that heartache. However, they will not have it easy in their first leg at Kansas City Wizards, for whom Jimmy Conrad and Claudio Lopez are influential figures.

Chasing an unprecendented third straight MLS Cup, Houston Dynamo face New York Red Bulls in the opening 90 minutes of their tie.

Big game: Chivas USA have never won a tie in the play-offs, but with six former MLS winners in their squad, Claudio Suarez providing their steel and Alecko Eskandarian their spark, can they take a step towards arresting this statistic at Real Salt Lake?
Players to watch: Dynamo stars Dwayne De Rosario and Brian Ching are capable of turning a game in an instant, but the Red Bulls have match-winners of their own in South American imports Jorge Rojas and Juan Pablo Angel.

Korean K-League: Trio race to cross the line
Just one point separates three teams in the fight to finish top of the regular season and, crucially, book a place in the overall final. A single goal has FC Seoul in pole position with two rounds remaining, and forwards Jung Jo-Gook and Dejan Damjanovic will look to keep them there away to second-bottom Busan I'Park.

Spearheaded by Edu, Suwon Bluewings will be hoping a comprehensive defeat of visiting Chunnam Dragons will propel them first, regardless of the result in Busan. Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma, for their part, will be ready to capitalise on any slip-ups at home to Jeonbuk Motors.

Big games: Incheon United head Gyeongnam by three points in the battle for the sixth and final play-off berth. Cho Kwang-Rae's charges will hope to be level after they have hosted Ulsan Horang-i and their rivals have travelled to Gwangju Sangmu Phoenix.
Players to watch: Seongnam are reliant on Brazilian luminaries Dudu and Mota, while Jeonbuk will look to home-grown aces Chung Kyung-Ho and Kim Hyung-Bum.

South African Premier Soccer League: Cape Town test for leaders
SuperSport United's imperial start to the season continued with a 5-0 defeat of high-flying Maritzburg United in midweek. Katlego Mashego and Anthony Laffor headlined that victory, which sent the Swanky Boys three points clear at the summit, and the pair will now strive to undo Ajax Cape Town.

Runners-up Mamelodi Sundowns, winners of five of the PSL's 12 editions, will seek inspiration from Benedict Vilakazi at home to second-bottom Bay United, while third-placed Bidvest Wits will visit Thanda Royal Zulu, who boast the competition's top scorer, Bernard Parker.

Big game: Free State Stars and Orlando Pirates will both be out for their second win of the season when they meet on Saturday.
Players to watch: The shootout between Kaizer Chiefs' Jose Torrealba and Collins Chabalala of AmaZulu could dictate the victor in their encounter.

Elsewhere
All eyes will be on Edgar Benitez when Paraguayan Clausura runners-up Sol de America host his former team, 12 de Octubre, one point back in fourth. The Albirroja forward, 22, has radiated this term, but in Guillermo Beltran, he will be up against another player in a rich vein of form.

Runners-up Guarani entertain the country's most successful club, Olimpia, while leaders Libertad travel to struggling Sportivo Luqueno. Cerro Porteno, in fifth, will entrust on-song attackers Cesar Ramirez and Erwin Avolos with sending Tacuary home pointless.