Uruguay finished the job Wednesday, qualifying for the 2010 World Cup with a 1-1 draw against Costa Rica.
The South American side had gained the upper hand in their play-off against North and Central America's Costa Rica with a 1-0 victory at San Jose on Saturday and duly wrapped up the 32nd and final spot in the 2010 finals in South Africa.
Their victory on a 2-1 aggregate sends the Uruguayans back to the World Cup finals for the first time since 2002 - where they will seek to add to the titles they won in 1930 and 1950.
Substitute Sebastian Abreu came on for Uruguay in the 65th minute and immediately made his presence felt.
The Greece-based striker headed home a goal off a ball from Andres Scotti in the 70th minute to open the scoring.
Costa Rica responded just four minutes later as Walter Centeno scored.
The crowd of 18,000 at Estadio Centenario had an agonizing wait through seven minutes of stoppage time, after the match was halted for five minutes when Costa Rica substitutes got embroiled in a sideline scuffle with some television reporters with 10 minutes remaining.
When play had resumed, Costa Rica's Alvaro Saborio threatened in the penalty area, but his shot was wide of Fernando Muslera's goal and time ran out for the Central Americans.
Costa Rica miss out on the finals for the first time since 1998 - a tough end to a campaign that saw them lead the final round of qualifying for North and Central America and Caribbean region earlier this year.
In October, America's injury time goal for a 2-2 draw with Costa Rica in the final match denied them a direct entry berth, leaving them fourth in CONCACAF and headed to the play-off against South American fifth placed finishers Uruguay.
For Uruguay it was a third straight qualifying play-off. They qualified to Korea-Japan in 2002 by beating Australia, the same opponents who beat them for a 2006 berth.