Uruguay claimed the 32nd and final berth at next year's World Cup, tying Jordan 0-0 Wednesday night for a 5-0 aggregate win in the South American-Asian playoff. Uruguay, a two-time world champion, won the first leg last week in Jordan and defended compactly throughout the second leg.
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While you were (likely) sleeping, Oribe Peralta did his best Cristiano Ronaldo impression. The Santos Laguna forward's hat trick lifted Mexico to a 4-2 second-leg win over New Zealand in their intercontinental World Cup qualifying playoff, a result that cemented El Tri's place in Brazil on a 9-3 aggregate.
3 of 32Frank Augstein/AP
The first leg of Portugal and Sweden's European playoff was hyped to the gills in anticipation of the Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Zlatan Ibrahimovic matchup. However, it was largely a disappointment. Neither Ronaldo nor Ibrahimovic showing much of anything for the vast majority of the match, despite Ronaldo scoring the lone goal. The second leg had no such problems ? Ronaldo and Ibrahimovic combined to score all five goals in the match after halftime, with Ronaldo's hat trick giving Portugal a 3-2 victory and its fourth consecutive World Cup berth.
4 of 32AP
When France lost 2-0 to Ukraine in Kiev in the UEFA playoffs, the focus quickly turned to the immense loss of attacking talent that would occur without France in next year's tournament. So, of course, it was a defender that had yet to score an international goal and didn't even play in Kiev that made all the difference in France's miracle comeback. Ain't soccer grand? Liverpool's Mamdou Sakho didn't just score the opening goal that sent them on their way to a dominant 3-0 win over Ukraine, he also did the heavy lifting on the own goal that won the series on aggregate and sent Les Bleus to their fifth consecutive World Cup.
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Iceland put together a staunch defensive performance in their first leg against Croatia in the UEFA playoffs, holding Luka Modric and Co. to a 0-0 draw. But that same defense was missing in action in the second leg. Croatia's first goal came courtesy of Mario Mand?uki?, the Bayern Munich striker who was somehow left wide open at the far post to tap in a deflected cross. Darijo Srna doubled Croatia's advantage just after halftime with a strike from an acute angle outside the penalty box to send Croatia to the 2014 World Cup after missing out on the 2010 edition.
6 of 32Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
The Greeks dominated Romania with an unexpected offensive flurry in a 3-1 victory in their home leg. They needed no such fireworks to get the job done in Romania. Even as Romania kept possession of the ball for nearly 70 percent of the teams' second-leg match in Bucharest, the Greek defense held strong, and secured the country's passage to the 2014 World Cup with a 1-1 draw and 4-2 win on aggregate.
7 of 32Anis Belghou/AP
Algeria earned Africa's last berth in next year's World Cup, beating Burkina Faso 1-0 in their playoff's second leg for a 3-3 aggregate tie and a victory on away goals.
8 of 32Ahmed Gomaa/AP
Ghana qualified for the World Cup with a 7-3 aggregate win over Egypt in the playoffs to seize the fourth of five African places available at the finals.
9 of 32HOSNI MANOUBI
The Indomitable Lions advanced to its seventh World Cup on Sunday, the most appearances in the tournament by any African team. Cameroon secured their qualification with a solid 4-1 win over Tunisia at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.
10 of 32Rebecca Blackwell/AP
Ivory Coast qualified for its third-ever and third consecutive World Cup after a 1-1 draw with Senegal confirmed a 4-2 aggregate victory in the playoff round of African qualifying.
11 of 32Sunday Alamba/AP
Nigeria qualified for the World Cup on Saturday, continuing an outstanding year for the team after it won the African title for the first time in nearly a decade. Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a 4-1 aggregate victory.
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Honduras qualified for their second consecutive World Cup after having not made the finals of the event since 1982. Nicknamed 'Los Catrachos," Honduras finished third in the CONCACAF region behind the United States and Costa Rica but ahead of Mexico.
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Ecuador qualified for the 2014 World Cup after missing out of the 2010 event. The team will head to Brazil after showing strong near the start of the qualifying campaign, which helped it overcome poor results in their final two games (including a 2-1 loss to Chile on the final day of qualifying).
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Chile defeated Ecuador 2-1 on Tuesday in Santiago, a result that advanced both teams. Chile finished third in the South American qualifying group with Ecuador in fourth, claiming the two remaining automatic berths from the region. Argentina and Colombia had already qualified as the top two teams.
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The reigning World Cup champion no longer gets a free pass to the subsequent tournament, and Spain was done no favors when it was placed in the same qualification group as powerful France. La Roja had to work for it, but Tuesday -- the last day of group play ? they eased past Georgia, 2-0, to clinch the top spot in Group I and a trip to Brazil.
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As Steven Gerrard forced the ball past Wojciech Sczeszny to cap a 2-0 win and seal England's passage to Brazil, Roy Hodgson breathed a mighty sigh of relief, leapt to his feet and scampered a gleeful jig down the touchline. In doing so, he seemed to embody the mood of the nation. "I died 1000 deaths every time they crossed the halfway line, which is what you do," he said. "There's a lot of emotions churning inside me. We came through, it's job done and we're all very happy about that."
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Bosnia-Herzegovina made history Tuesday, qualifying for its first World Cup in its fifth attempt as an independent nation. The Bosnians, who haven't advanced to a European Championship either, defeated Lithuania, 1-0, on a late goal from Vedad Ibi?evi? (left). The VfB Stuttgart forward is already well known in St. Louis, where he lived as a child and played college soccer for the Billikens. He'll now be immortal in Bosnia thanks to his 68th-minute finish in Kaunas.
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Russia qualified for its first World Cup since 2002 with a 1-1 draw against Azerbaijan in Baku. Roman Shirokov scored Russia's only goal 16 minutes into the contest, while Azerbaijan's Vagif Dzavadov made things a bit more tense in the closing stages with a 90th minute header to level the scores. Had Azerbaijan somehow netted a winner, Russia would have been condemned to the UEFA playoffs.
19 of 32Ricardo Mazalan/AP
Radamel Falcao sent Colombia's fans into hysterics with this penalty conversion against Chile. The goal capped a wild three-goal comeback and gave Colombia a 3-3 draw against Chile for its first World Cup berth since 1998.
20 of 32Darko Bandic/AP
Romelu Lukaku (right) scored twice to ease Belgium to its first World Cup berth in 12 years. The Diables Rouges, or Rode Duivels, or Rote Teufel -- depending on what part of the trilingual country you ask -- defeated host Croatia, 2-1, on Friday to seal first place in UEFA's Group A and become the third European nation (and 11th overall) to book its place in Brazil.
21 of 32Hektor Pustina/AP
Xherdan Shaqiri (right), who plies his trade for Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga, opened the scoring for the Swiss in the 47th minute of their 2-1, World Cup berth-clinching win over Albania. 2014 will mark Switzerland's third straight World Cup appearance.
22 of 32Martin Meissner/AP
A perennial favorite to make a splash in the World Cup, Germany booked its ticket to Brazil with a sound 3-0 victory over Ireland. <italics>Die Mannschaft</italics> finished at the peak of UEFA's Group C with eight wins and one draw.
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With two goals against Andorra, Robin van Persie (second from left) helped give the Netherlands its seventh win in eight group games, automatically qualifying the 2010 runner-ups for Brazil.
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Mario Balotelli (9) scored a go-ahead goal against the Czech Republic in a 2-1 victory. "Gli Azzurri" are now set to make their 18th World Cup appearance.
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The U.S. defeated Mexico 2-0 in Columbus, but (with Panama and Honduras still playing) had to wait an hour until the team knew definitively that it had clinched a Top 3 spot in the CONCACAF Hexagonals.
26 of 32Collin Reid/AP
After a 3-1 win over the U.S. on Sept. 6, Los Ticos played to a 1-1 draw with Jamaica, enough to unleash celebrations throughout Costa Rica.
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The South American giants defeated Paraguay 5-2 to assure their place in next summer's tournament.
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Australia went 3-4-1 in its group in the Asian Football Confederation, enough to finish second and qualify for the World Cup.
29 of 32Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images
Thanks to winning its group in the Asian Football Confederation, Iran will be making its fourth-ever appearance in the World Cup.
30 of 32Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
South Korea lost its final game in qualifiers, but because of a +6 goal differential it finished second in its group, ahead of Uzbekistan (+5).
31 of 32Shuji Kajiyama/AP
Japan became the first team to qualify in competition for the World Cup. Needing at least a draw against Australia, Keisuke Honda converted a stoppage-time penalty to tie the game, 1-1.
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Brazil has known it would be playing in the 2014 World Cup ever since the country was named the host of the event in 2007.
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