While the Argentine Primera title race and the battle for Liguilla in Mexico get better by the week, Fluminense all but locked up the Brasileirao title on Sunday. With four rounds left to play, they're nine points ahead of their nearest rivals. The Copa Libertadores race is uninteresting as well, meaning football in Brazil is essentially done until state championships start up again. Luckily, the other leagues in the Americas are currently providing plenty of entertainment.
Tigres big winners in Clásico Regiomontano
UANL Tigres kept their Liguilla qualification hopes alive this weekend, while simultaneously hurting Monterrey's. Young forward Alan Pulido came on as a halftime substitute and scored the 63rd minute winner for Tigres at the Estadio Tecnologico, moving Tigres to within one point of Monterrey and three points of Liguilla places.
The loss puts Monterrey into a position where they do not control their own playoff destiny heading into the final round of the season. Chivas Guadalajara and Santos Laguna currently sit on 23 points and occupy the last two Liguilla places, while Morelia looks a bit more safe on 24 points. Five teams outside of the top eight have at least 20 points and are mathematically alive going into the final day. Monterrey have a game in hand, which will be played Wednesday, that could shake up the race.
Atletico Mineiro falter as Flu win to virtually take Brazilian crown
Whatever slim chances that Atletico Mineiro had to catch Fluminense for the Brasileirao title are now virtually gone. They fell 1-0 away to Cortiba this weekend, on a goal by former Fenerbahce and Flamengo star Deivid. Fluminense struggled to draw away to a good Sao Paulo team, but extended their lead in the process. CAM needed to take advantage of the slip-up, and their inability to do so has likely cost them a shot at a trophy.
To make sure that the final four weeks of the Brasileirao are thoroughly uninteresting, Botafogo, Internacional and Vasco da Gama all failed to win, meaning Sao Paulo have an eight-point cushion on the teams chasing them for the final Copa Libertadores spot. They're not going to let that evaporate, but the race for fifth could become relevant if Sao Paulo go on to win Copa Sudamericana, where they already have one foot in the semifinal.
Newell's still lead excellent Primera race, and Boca isn't dead yet
Another week, another patented Gerardo Martino away draw. Newell's Old Boys are still undefeated on the season after playing Colon to a 1-1 stalemate. Unfortunately for them, their lead shrunk as all of Velez Sarsfield, Boca Juniors, and unlikely title challengers Belgrano all emerged from their matches victorious. Velez's performance was especially impressive, as they posted a 5-1 road win against Arsenal.
Boca sits in fourth, and has the most difficult road to the title for reasons other than their current points deficit. They still have to play Newell's and Velez.
What happened to thrilling La U?
For the last year, Universidad de Chile has been one of the most entertaining sides in South America, but they're in a bit of a rut. They've failed to score in three big matches over the last month, losing to Colo Colo and Sao Paulo before drawing 0-0 with Universidad Catolica over the weekend. The Chilean Primera has playoffs, so there's no major concern for La U at this point, but it's tough to figure out exactly where the goals have gone.
Elsewhere in Chile, Colo Colo won again to go top of the table. With one round left to play in the regular season, 2012 Copa Libertadores participants UC and Union Española appear to be fighting for one playoff spot.
Peñarol are for real
Even though Peñarol entered this weekend's clash with Defensor Sporting on top of the Uruguayan Primera table, they had yet to prove their worth against top sides. In the first of two consecutive huge matches, they brought their best and defeated Defensor Sporting 2-1, solidifying their standing on top of the table. Next week, they play in the country's biggest derby against Nacional, who might have got caught looking ahead to next week in a 2-0 loss to River Plate.
The rest of the Americas
In Colombia, Atletico Junior posted a rare loss while Millonairos defeated Envigado and La Equidad beat Real Cartegena away. Millonairos lead the league on 34 points, while La Equidad sit on 32 and Junior have 29. Guarani drew away to Sportivo Luqueño in Paraguay, but still lead that league by four points. Barcelona decimated Emelec in Ecuador, dropping a stunning and emphatic 5-0 result. That catapulted them to the top of the table, as second and third-placed sides Tecnico Universatario and LDU Quito drew 1-1. Deportivo Anozategui drew to keep the lead in Venezuela, Sporting Cristal expanded their lead in Peru to 19 points, and San Jose won to stay top in Bolivia.