There was further misery for champions Universidad de Chile at the weekend after a bruising defeat in the Copa Libertadores, as the reigning champions lost only their second match of the Apertura away to Universidad de Concepcion. Having gone down 4-1 to Deportivo Quito in the punishing altitude of the city, the U's second-string were downed 2-0 thanks to a penalty from Renato Ramos and Jose Jimenez's late strike.
Santiago rivals Universidad Catolica fared rather better on Sunday evening, as they destroyed Cobresal 5-0 to guarantee a place in the play-offs. The highly-rated Felipe Gutierrez was on target twice for the Cruzado, while Nicolas Trecco, Nicolas Castillo and Marko Biskupovic completed the rout to move Catolica up to fourth. Colo Colo also sneaked into the top eight, a single goal from Carlos Munoz enough to take down Union San Felipe in the Monumental.
Independiente Medellin saw their hopes of making the Apertura play-offs evaporate on Sunday, as they fell to defeat at the hands of league leaders Deportes Tolima. DIM needed a positive result in front of an expectant Girardot crowd to have any chance of reaching top eight at the end of the regular season, but Henry Rojas' solitary goal strengthened the visitors' grip on the summit and left Medellin languishing third from bottom.
Elsewhere, Junior re-entered the play-off fight in emphatic style, as they destroyed Cucuta in Barranquilla. Giovanni Hernandez, Vladimir Hernandez, Victor Cortes and Luis Paez all got on the score-sheet in a 4-0 drubbing, which moves the Tiburones up to eighth place. Millonarios were frustrated in their efforts to climb up into contention, however, as an 88th minute equaliser meant the Bogota giants could only draw 2-2 with Deportes Quindio.
Copa Libertadores heroes Deportivo Quito could not pull off a second victory in four days, as they were held to a draw with Primera Fase pace-setters Independiente Teran. Stars such as Matias Alustiza, who scored twice in a 4-1 drubbing of Universidad de Chile, were rested by La Academia, and a weakened La Academia side tied 0-0 with the leaders. Second-placed LDU Quito failed to capitalise, however; the Blancos drew 1-1 with El Nacional in a capital derby, Claudio Bieler salvaging a point in the last minute, and they remain two points behind Independiente.
An incredible weekend for the Messi family helped Olimpia consoldate their lead at the top of the Apertura, as rivals Cerro Porteno were left cursing the Barcelona whizzkid and his relatives. Olimpia were helped by a solitary goal from Maxi Biancucchi - Lionel's cousin - to beat Rubio Nu with the one of the last attacks of the match. Cerro, meanwhile, were hit by two goals from Maxi's brother Emanuel Biancucchi, and a late Roberto Nanni strike was little consolation as they lost 2-1 to Independiente CG to fall five points behind.
With just four games to go the Uruguayan Clausura looks set to be a three-horse race at the finish, as Liverpool's win over Penarol put a serious dent in the Manya's chances. A single goal from ?? sent Liverpool on the way to a 1-0 victory in the Centenario, leaving them just one point behind leaders Defensor Sporting. Uruguay Olympic hopeful Diego Rodriguez was the inspiration for the Violeta, boosting his chances of making the trip to London with the only goal in victory over Danubio.
Nacional complete the triumvirate of title challengers, as they share second place alongside Liverpool. Richard Porta's 10th goal of the Clausura set the Bolso on the way to victory, before Christian Nunez sealed a 2-0 win away to Fenix.