World Leagues review
There was no change at the top after the weekend’s big games in Brazil, Mexico and the USA. Meanwhile, River Plate continued their fight against relegation in Argentina with another important win, Nagoya Grampus Eight moved out front in Japan and three teams emerged at the top in Australia.
FIFA.com has all the news on the latest up and downs in the major leagues outside Europe.
Brasilerao: Fluminense pull clear
Leaders Fluminense enjoyed a perfect day as they stretched their lead to four points. Convincing 3-0 winners over an out-of-sorts Internacional at the Maracana, with front two Washington and Emerson both impressing, Flu also had the satisfaction of seeing closest Corinthians slip up on the road.
Big game: O Timão’s executioners were Avai, who followed up their Copa Sudamericana defeat of Santos with a notable 3-2 triumph at the Ressacada, a result that moved them up to third place.
Headline grabber: Six games into his reign at Palmeiras, Luiz Felipe Scolari finally collected his first win, with his charges overcoming Atletico Paranaense 2-0. Still unhappy at his side’s mid-table position, fully 13 points adrift of Fluminense, the former Brazil boss later demanded more support from the Verdão fans.
Mexican Apertura: Santos march on
Santos Laguna maintained their perfect start to the season with a 1-0 home win over Jaguares, their fourth in four games, and remain two points ahead of Monterrey in Group 1.
Big game: Los Rayados kept the pressure on the leaders with an entertaining 5-2 victory over Pumas UNAM, who twice held the lead in the first half. The dismissal of visiting goalkeeper Alejandro Palacios after the restart changed the course of the game, however, with the hosts hitting three unanswered second-half goals to run out easy winners.
Headline grabber: Toluca’s hopes of registering their maiden win of the season were dashed by a last-minute Tigres goal. Antonio Rios had given the title holders the lead with half an hour remaining only for Brazilian front man Itamar to stroke home a penalty in the closing seconds.
American MLS: West win the day
East met west in the MLS this weekend, with the leaders in each conference taking on the second-placed sides in the other. Western Conference pacesetters Los Angeles Galaxy edged out New York Red Bulls, while second-placed Real Salt Lake made it a one-two for the West when they put two goals past Columbus Crew without reply, leaving the leading positions as they were.
Big game: Though all the attention was on Red Bulls superstars Thierry Henry and Rafael Marquez, it was Edson Buddle who stole the show on the Galaxy’s eagerly awaited visit to the Big Apple, which went out live on TV across the country. The USA striker scored his 13th goal of the campaign ten minutes in, giving the visitors a lead they held on to as they recorded their first clean sheet in nine meetings with the New Yorkers.
Headline grabber: 2008 MLS champions Real Salt Lake overcame their successors Columbus Crew 2-0 in a tense encounter decided by a brace from Argentinian striker Javier Morales.
Argentinian Apertura: River rising to the challenge
With two wins in their opening two games, River Plate look to be well on course to put their recent travails behind them. Welcoming Ariel Ortega back into the side, Los Millonarios made light of his subsequent sending-off to earn a valuable 1-0 win at Huracan. The game, which marked the return of River coach Angel Cappa to the Estadio Tomas Adolfo Duco, was settled by Facundo Affranchino’s first-half strike.
Big game: Running out at La Bombonera for the first time this season, Boca Juniors took an early lead against local rivals Racing Club only to fall to a 2-1 defeat. The men from Avellaneda are one of only five clubs to have won both their opening games.
Headline grabber: The big news off the pitch was made by Juan Roman Riquelme, who has finally signed a contract extension with Los Xeneixes. After agreeing to stay at La Bombonera for another four years, the Boca playmaker signalled his intention to help the Buenos Aires giants lift another Copa Libertadores crown.
Matchday two in the Australian A-League ended with three teams tied at the top of the table. Perth Glory won 2-0 at Melbourne Victory to move on to four points along with North Queensland Fury - 2-1 winners over Sydney - and Central Coast Mariners, who drew 1-1 with Adelaide United. The game of the weekend was the pulsating 3-3 draw between Wellington Phoenix and Gold Coast United.
Japanese J-League leaders at the start of the day, Shimizu S-Pulse had their six-game unbeaten run ended when they went down 2-1 to Yokohama Marinos. Taking full advantage were Nagoya Grampus Eight, who eased past Urawa Red Diamonds 3-1 to move two points ahead of the field.
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