World Leagues review
It was a weekend of celebrations across planet football as Al Ahli won the league in the United Arab Emirates and Olimpia showed off another Honduran championship trophy to their fans. Elsewhere, the title races are nearly over in Mexico, Uruguay and Venezuela, while in Argentina and Brazil, Lanus and Internacional consolidated their positions at the top. FIFA.com rounds up the headlines from the major leagues outside Europe.
Argentinian Clausura: Lanus and Velez trade blows
ELanus stayed top thanks to a 1-0 win over Banfield, Maximiliano Velazquez scoring the all-important goal. Elsewhere, Huracan remain two points off the pace after a Javier Pastore double gave them a 2-1 win at Rosario Central.
Big game: Second-placed Velez Sarsfield kept the pressure on Lanus with a 2-0 defeat of a Boca Juniors side with nothing left to play for after crashing out of the Copa Libertadores and having long seen their Clausura hopes evaporate.
Headline grabber: With just four games of the season remaining, the fight for survival promises to be every bit as exciting as the championship battle. Gimnasia Jujuy and San Martin have the hardest task of all the relegation candidates, while Racing, Gimnasia La Plata, Rosario Central and Banfield cannot afford to drop any more points.
Brasileirao: Internacional pull clear
Internacional opened up a two-point lead after collecting their third straight win of the new season. Their latest victims were Goias, with Taison scoring the only goal of the game late on. Tied on points with Inter at the start of the day, Vitoria fell to fifth after going down 2-0 to Cruzeiro.
Nautico and Atletico Mineiro are the surprise leaders of the chasing pack. The men from Recife were given a testing time at Atletico Paranaense, falling behind to a Wallysson brace before staging a second-half comeback to win 3-2 courtesy of a Gladstone strike and two goals from Anderson Lessa.
Big game: The much-anticipated duel between Palmeiras and Sao Paulo failed to live up to expectations. A disappointing 0-0 draw left both sides in unaccustomed positions in the bottom half.
Headline grabber: Fluminense looked to be on the way to three points when Mariano put them ahead at home to Santos early. The visitors hit back hard, however, Kleber Pereira scoring twice in a 4-1 victory.
Mexican Clausura: Thrilling finale in store
Pachuca and Pumas needed late goals to check into the championship play-off decider. Despite playing their semi-final, second legs in front of their home fans, the two finalists were made to dig deep against respective opponents Indios and Puebla.
Big game: Indios stunned favourites Pachuca by scoring three times at their Ciudad Hidalgo fortress. After teetering on the ropes, Enrique Meza's side then hit back with an injury-time strike from Panamanian forward Blas Perez to squeeze through 4-3 on aggregate.
Headline grabber: Puebla won 2-1 at Pumas to earn a 3-3 aggregate draw, only to be denied a place in the final by the university side's superior overall record during the league season.
Al Ahli beat Al Shabab 3-1 to clinch their fifth UAE League crown and, consequently, a place at the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009 in December.
In Venezuela, Apertura champions Deportivo Italia drew 1-1 with Clausura counterparts Caracas in the first leg of their 2008/09 championship decider.
There was a change at the top of the Chinese Super League, with Beijing Guo'an beating Qingdao Jonoon 3-1 to leapfrog previous incumbents Shandong Luneng, who were held to a goalless draw by Dalian Haichang.
Olimpia made sure of the Honduran Clausura in a dramatic play-off, second leg against Real Espana. Tied together at 2-2 after the first leg, the two played out a 1-1 draw in normal time before Brazilian defender Fabio de Souza scored in extra time to give Los Leones Blancos the title.
In Uruguay, Defensor Sporting followed up their shock defeat of Boca Juniors in the Copa Libertadores by beating Rampla Juniors 4-1 to move within touching distance of the Clausura championship. The hero of the Superclásico between Nacional and Penarol was Gustavo Biscayzacu, who overshadowed Antonio Pacheco's brace for Los Aurinegros with a hat-trick to give Nacional a 3-2 win.
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