River and Penarol finish on top
Titles were claimed in Argentina and Uruguay over the weekend.
With changes at the top in Brazil and the USA, and a battle of the
giants in Canada,
FIFA.com reflects on the developments.
Argentinian Clausura: River clinch it
River secured the Clausura crown with a 2-1 win over Olimpo in the Monumental to spark wild celebrations in Buenos Aires. River's closest rivals Estudiantes were held to a 0-0 draw by Colon, a result which allowed River to claim the title with a round to spare. Diego Buonanotte was the star for Los Millonarios, netting twice and thriving on the superb service of former Albiceleste regular Ariel Ortega.
Big game: No-one expected Racing Club and Huracan
to provide a goal-fest, and a single Facundo Sava goal for Racing
was enough to temporarily ease their relegation worries.
Headline-grabber: Boca Juniors could have been forgiven for a dispirited effort after their Copa Libertadores disappointment in midweek, but they found strength in adversity and came from behind to win 3-1 at Lanus. Martin Palermo, Boca's scorer against Fluminense on Wednesday, netted twice and Rodrigo Palacio sealed the win in the 75th minute.
Uruguayan Clausura: Penarol on top in thriller
The Clausura decider was played out in front of no fewer than 65,000 fans at the Centenario, and the two sides provided a match worthy of the occasion, Penarol running out 5-3 winners. Down 3-1 after 39 minutes, LosAurinegros pulled a goal back just before half-time, and produced a true championship display in the second half, putting three goals without reply past River.
Big game: Penarol will have both impetus and form on their side when they take on Defensor Sporting in the upcoming grand final, although Defensor gained a win in their last outing as well, against Bella Vista.
Headline-grabber: Gerardo Alcoba was the key man for Penarol in the dramatic title decider; after scoring a freakish own goal in the eighth minute, he began Penarol's revival with an equaliser twenty minutes later.
Brasileiro: Five-star Flamengo
By beating Figueirense 5-0 at the Maracana, Flamengo snuck ahead of rivals Cruzeiro on goal difference. The team from Minas Gerais also took three points from the round, overcoming Vasco 1-0 with a goal by Charles, but it was not enough to maintain top spot. O Mengão made light of the absences of Renato Augusto and Diego Tardelli to overwhelm their opponents, Marcinho scoring a hat-trick against the southerners.
Big game: Sao Paulo, without a win in four games, certainly demonstrated their hunger in a 5-1 win over Atletico Mineiro.
Headline-grabber: Fluminense may have stormed into the Copa Libertadores final, but they have slumped to the bottom of the Brasileiro table, losing 2-1 to Gremio in Porto Alegre. Flu's cause was not helped by having Thiago Neves sent off after 57 minutes, when the Rio giants were already 2-0 down.
American MLS: Galaxy prevail in Western showdown
The summit clash in the Western conference lived up to expectations, with Los Angeles Galaxy racing into a three-goal lead before being pegged back to 3-2 by Colorado Rapids. Both sides were reduced to ten men shortly before the break when Alan Gordan and Facundo Erpen were dismissed. Surviving the tense final minutes, Galaxy overtook their opponents at the top of the section.
Big game: Columbus Crew failed to make any ground on leaders New England Revolution in the Eastern conference, slumping to a 2-0 home loss against San Jose Earthquakes, who were in desperate need of a win following a poor start to the campaign.
Headline-grabber: DC United finally managed to win a game away from home, and in dramatic fashion: a man down against Chicago Fire, they snatched a 2-1 win in stoppage time thanks to Luciano Emilio's goal.
Canadian Soccer League:
Toronto edge champions' battle
The battle between the previous two years' champions was fierce, with Toronto Croatia winning 3-2 over Italia Shooters at the latter's Maple home ground. The Shooters were unable to repeat their heroics from two days earlier, when they had scored two late goals to see of Serbian White Eagles despite playing with ten men for over an hour.
Big game: Trois-Rivieres Attak overcame the Windsor Border Stars for their second win in as many days on Saturday, Jean-Louis Besse scoring the winner on the hour mark.
Headline-grabber: Trois-Rivieres made their first win of the season a memorable one, a 5-0 trouncing of London City at Cove Road on Friday evening.
Everton claimed the Chilean Apertura championship earlier in the week, ending the dominance of Colo Colo, who had claimed the last four titles. It took a spirited comeback from Everton to overturn the Santiago side's 2-0 first leg lead, but after a scoreless first half in Vina del Mar, Everton slotted home three goals in the second period to deny Colo Colo another piece of silverware.
Libertad have one hand on the Apertura title in Paraguay, after a hard-fought win over Luqueno in which they recovered from a 3-1 deficit to emerge 4-3 winners. Libertad now need only a draw from their postponed match against Olimpia on Wednesday.