Surprise champions were crowned in the USA, while the finish line has moved into view in Argentina, Brazil and Japan, with many of the pacesetters struggling to underline their credentials. visits five continents in reviewing domestic action across the globe including.

Argentinian Apertura: Derby fever
Newell's Old Boys relinquished joint-leadership after being held 2-2 by Rosario Central in a lively derby. After Rosario took an early two-goal lead, Newell’s pulled a goal back almost immediately before Paraguayan Jorge Achucarro equalised just before the hour with an audacious backheel. The result left unbeaten Banfield, who had to come from behind to win 2-1 at Independiente, two points ahead of Newell's with four matches remaining.

Big game: South American champions Estudiantes are six points off the pace after beating bottom team Tigre 3-1 ahead of a looming trip to the United Arab Emirates for the FIFA Club World Cup.
Headline-grabber: Uruguayan striker Santiago 'Tank' Silva scored the winner and his 12 goal of the campaign as Banfield claimed outright top spot.

Brasileirao: Jitters at the top
With just two rounds now remaining in the title race, the leading contenders seem to be suffering from nerves. Flamengo squandered the opportunity to go top after being held to a 0-0 draw by mid-table Goias. It was even worse for leaders Sao Paulo, who, having won four of their previous five matches, lost 3-2 away to relegation-threatened Botafogo and now head the standings by a mere point.

Big game: Internacional restarted their title aspirations with a 1-0 win at fifth-placed Atletico Mineiro. Inter are now level with Palmeiras in fourth, three points off the pace.
Headline-grabber: Fred continued his rich vein of form with his 11th goal in 12 matches as Copa Sudamericana finalists Fluminense continued their push for safety with a 3-0 win at relegated Sport.

Japanese J.League: Leaders struggle for fluency
Kawasaki Frontale lost top spot after crashing 1-0 to second division-bound Oita Trinita. Brazilian forward Fernandinho flicked home what could ultimately prove to be the title decider after impressive lead-up work from midfielder Mu Kanazaki. Defending champions Kashima Antlers now have a two-point lead with two rounds remaining, after a hard-fought 1-0 defeat of Kyoto Purple Sanga.

Big game: Gamba Osaka maintained their slim title hopes with a 2-0 win over Shimizu S-Pulse thanks to goals from Lucas and Cho Jae-Jin.
Headline-grabber: Brazilian striker Edmilson scored a hat-trick as Urawa Red Diamonds secured an injury-time 3-2 win over Jubilo Iwata.

Ghanaian Premier League: Early pacesetters fall back
Kessben’s four-point lead at the top has been cut to just one after a 2-1 defeat at newly-promoted New Edubiase. Nuhu Fuseini and Seidu Bamson gave Edubiase a two-goal lead before James Boadu pulled a goal back for Kessben. Traditional big guns Asante Kotoko continued to struggle with a 1-0 defeat at Heart of Lions in Kpando.

Big game: Champions Hearts of Oak bounced back from recent poor form to overcome Bechem Chelsea 2-1, though they still are five points off the summit in a congested table.
Headline-grabber: Abdul Aziz Yusif struck a brace as Real Tamale United scored an important 3-2 victory over Great Olympics.

Real Salt Lake upset the star-studded Los Angeles Galaxy to clinch their first Major League Soccer title, winning on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time. David Beckham converted the first spot-kick of the shootout but a miss from team-mate Edson Buddle opened the door for Real Salt Lake, with defender Robbie Russell proving the hero by converting the winning penalty. Real Salt Lake had commenced the season with a seven-match winless run but were victorious in three straight play-off games to earn the Eastern Conference title. It had been a similar story for the Galaxy, who began their campaign with 11 draws in their first 13 matches.

One of the highlights of New Zealand's domestic calendar took place as FIFA Club World Cup representatives Auckland City remained unbeaten at the top of the New Zealand Football Championship standings with a drama-charged 2-1 derby victory over local rivals Waitakere United. Auckland came from behind despite being down to ten men for virtually the entire match with the equaliser coming from Ivan Vicelich, who a week earlier had helped the All Whites qualify for South Africa 2010. YoungHeart Manawatu moved into second spot with a valuable 2-1 win over at Waikato.

Finally, in the Korean K-League play-offs, Seongnam Chunma needed penalties to get the better of Incheon United, while it was the same story for Chunnam Dragons, who defeated FC Seoul by the same method to advance to the second round.