Uruguay have boosted their hopes of an automatic spot in Brazil next year with a 2-0 victory over Colombia in FIFA World Cup qualifying.
Tuesday's hosts at the Estadio Centenario in Montevideo were being well-held by a Colombian side seemingly content with a scoreless draw, as it would have guaranteed them a spot in the World Cup finals.
But two goals three minutes apart to Edinson Cavani and Cristian Stuani sent the home fans wild and put the Uruguayans level on points with fourth-placed Ecuador in the South America qualifying group.
The top-four in the nine-country group advance automatically to Brazil, while fifth place must face Jordan, who qualified for the intercontinental play-off on Tuesday.
Uruguay are now six points clear of sixth-placed Venezuela, meaning they are virtually guaranteed of at least the playoff spot but will be hungrily chasing automatic qualification after their third straight victory in the group.
Jose Pekerman's Colombia remain in second spot on the table on 26 points, still ensconced in the top four although they missed the chance to make sure of their ticket to Brazil.
Colombia frustrated the hosts for large periods, as they played the ball around without any real desire to trouble the scorers.
So it was more relief than anything for the home fans when Cavani got on the end of a ball through from Maxi Pereira out on the right, to nod home the opening goal at the near post on 77 minutes.
The mood quickly changed from frustration to elation and just as they let their hair down, Uruguay made it a two-goal lead when second-half substitute Stuani stormed in to put away a blind-sighted cross from fellow sub Gaston Ramirez.
Uruguay manager Oscar Tabarez was undoubtedly pleased his bench players vindicated his decision to get them on the park, after a stalemate in the opening 45 minutes.
Colombia were the first team to have a sight on goal from a set piece, but Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera comfortably caught the incoming ball in the fourth minute.
The home side had their first chance from a dead-ball situation in the eighth minute but star attacker Luis Suarez could not bother Colombia's custodian David Ospina, as his shot from long range lacked power.
Colombian number 10 Teofilo Gutierrez had Muslera at full stretch moments later to parry a powerful strike and Uruguay failed to clear immediately, with the ball ricocheting around the area in an early danger sign for Tabarez's men.
Uruguay quickly got back on top, though, as their dominance was reflected through a number of corners prior to the interval, although they failed to look threatening from most of them.
Their best chance came when Andres Scotti rose highest at the back post in the 21st minute but Ospina managed to get a slight touch on the cross in, enough to see Scotti miss his header opportunity.
Uruguay came out fired up in the second half with Cavani declaring his intentions by hitting the post with a strike in the first minute after the interval.
Still, Colombia settled back into the game and were content with passing the ball around to burn valuable time as they chased a point to secure their spot in Brazil.
Uruguay persisted though and Suarez smashed a powerful volley from a lay-up header from Stuani just wide of the goal as the hosts looked dangerous.
Pereira then provided the ball that Uruguay had needed all game and Cavani did the rest to ease the tension in Montevideo.
Stuani's opportunism three minutes later was all Uruguay needed to seal three valuable points.
|Coach: Ó. Tabárez|
for N. Lodeiro 46'
for Á. González 46'
for C. Rodríguez 71'
|Girard calls for focus|
|Colombia Primera A Wrap: Envigado seal top-eight place|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Toluca v Cruz Azul|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: The Strongest eye top spot|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Saprissa rout Belen Siglo XXI|
|Brazil Serie A Wrap: Fluminense, Sao Paulo win big|
|Liga MX Wrap: Top two beaten|
|Marseille reach agreement with Bielsa|
|Venezuela Primera Division Wrap: Three and easy for Zamora|
|Ranieri delighted with Monaco character|
|Martino relieved to beat Bilbao|
|La Liga Wrap: Barcelona back in title race, Sevilla three points off fourth|
|Jesus: Unforgettable night for Benfica|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Ajaccio relegated, Monaco secure top-three spot|
|La Liga: Barcelona 2 Athletic Bilbao 1|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Emelec extend lead, Independiente lose again|
|CAF Confederation Cup Wrap: Kaizer Chiefs face uphill battle, Cotonsport take narrow lead|
|Rodgers lauds ´mature´ Sterling|
|Benfica crowned Primeira Liga champions|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Stuttgart move clear as Nuremberg lose again|
|Martinez delighted with squad effort|
|PEC Zwolle thrash sorry Ajax to win KNVB Beker|
|Moyes rubbishes Welbeck exit talk|
|Blanc keen for PSG extension|
|Moyes bemoans ´terrible´ goals|
|Injuries and schedule hampered Arsenal, says Wenger|
|Martinez hails ´adaptable´ Everton|
|Bruce focused solely on survival|
|Premier League: Everton 2 Manchester United 0|
|Adams bullish over survival hopes|
|Thai Premier League Wrap: Bangkok Glass edge thriller, Muang Thong win again|
|Ramsey pleased to be back|
|Rodgers hails complete performance|
|Turan poised for Atletico return|
|Wenger delighted with Arsenal display|
|Lerner coy on Villa takeover talk|
|Totti proud of Roma exploits|
|Africa Cup of Nations Qualifying: Mauritius 0 Mauritania 2 (0-3 agg)|
|Premier League: Hull City 0 Arsenal 3|
|Bartomeu: Barca must take care of Messi|
|Ronaldo boost for Real|
|CSL Wrap: Vagner Love hat-trick inspires Luneng, Evergrande victorious|
|Adams rues first-half display|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid v Chelsea|
|Suarez calls for Liverpool calm|
|Pochettino keen to help youngsters develop|
|Eriksen´s commitment impresses Sherwood|
|Premier League: Norwich City 2 Liverpool 3|
|Neuer set to return for Real clash|
|Pogba coy over future|
|Westermann puzzled by Wolfsburg defeat|
|Conte champions Giovinco cause|
|K-League Wrap: Pohang stay top, Suwon held by Ulsan|
|J.League Wrap: Vissel Kobe hit the front, Sanfrecce held|
|Anything possible from Sunderland, says Poyet|
|Matic quashes complacency talk|
|Title win would make Gerrard the world´s best, says Suarez|
|Cambiasso optimistic over World Cup chances|
|Allardyce understands fans´ frustration|
|Magath hopeful on trio´s return|
|Monk hails Bony contribution|
|Gerrard had given up on Premier League|
|MLS Wrap: Real Salt Lake remain unbeaten|
|Coupe de la Ligue win important, says Cavani|
|Garde: Referee cost us|
|Reus demands Dortmund momentum|
|Early goal crucial, says Wolfsburg´s Olic|
|Montella rejects talk of Fiorentina exit|
|Van Gaal arrival would ensure van Persie stay|
|Chiellini: ´We have to thank Roma´|
|Ruddy ready for nemesis Suarez|
|Maiden Milan header pleases Balotelli|
|Muller: Bayern fought well|
|Baines: Martinez backs Everton style|
|Garcia delighted with top-two finish|
|AFC Champions League Preview: All to play for in Group G|
|Copa Libertadores Preview: Gremio away at San Lorenzo|
|Serie A Wrap: Roma best Fiorentina but Juve remain clear at the top|
|Result all that counts for Blanc|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Sporting win keeps Benfica waiting on title, Pacos thrashed at home|
|Coupe de la Ligue: Lyon 1 Paris Saint-Germain 2|
|La Liga Wrap: Late goals crucial for Real Sociedad, Valencia|
|Poyet wants Sunderland to earn survival reward|
|Livorno dismiss Di Carlo, re-hire Nicola|
|Conte thrilled with ´good step forward´|
|Championship Preview: Wigan out to thwart Burnley, Leicester on verge of title|
|O´Shea credits Poyet´s words|
|UEFA to announce Financial Fair Play findings next month|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Hamburg beaten, Freiburg see off Monchengladbach|
|Mourinho offers withering referee ´congratulations´|
|Klopp dismisses Barca rumours|
|Scottish Premiership Wrap: Sutton denies Celtic, Saints beat United|
|Premier League: Chelsea 1 Sunderland 2|
|Serie A: Juventus 1 Bologna 0|
|Lambert happy after ´difficult week´ ends well|
|Allardyce singles out Armero for costly error|
|Hughes disagrees with Cardiff penalty decision|
|Monk: Win proved Swansea are united|
|Pulis hails Palace unity|
|Penalty call lifted Cardiff, says Solskjaer|
|Pochettino blasts ´unexplainable´ penalty decision|
|Bayern need to be ´outstanding´ against Real, says Guardiola|
|Pardew stunned by late Bony winner|
|League Two Preview: Torquay set for the drop as relegation battle heats up|
|Football League Wrap: Millwall climb out of bottom three|
|Seedorf coy on Milan future|
|Mazzarri demands continued Inter focus|
|CAF Confederation Cup: Nkana 0 Bizertin 0|
|Premier League: Newcastle United 1 Swansea City 2|
|Premier League: Cardiff City 1 Stoke City 1|
|Premier League: West Ham 0 Crystal Palace 1|
|Premier League: Aston Villa 0 Southampton 0|
|Sherwood praises ´world-class´ Lloris|
|Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund 4 Mainz 2|
|Bundesliga: Eintracht Braunschweig 0 Bayern Munich 2|
|Magath eyes home wins|
|League One Preview: Wolves poised to seal title|
|Serie A: Milan 3 Livorno 0|
|Serie A: Parma 0 Inter 2|
|Sandro must work hard, says Sherwood|
|Moyes holds Mata in high regard|
|Ranieri calls for Monaco response|
|Premier League: Tottenham 3 Fulham 1|
|Henry: Liverpool ahead of schedule|
|De Laurentiis: Hamsik not for sale|
|Martino ´not optimistic´ over Neymar return|
|Farina unsure over Del Piero future|
|Surgeon: Falcao may not be fully fit for Word Cup|
|Bruce pleads patience from Aluko|
|Wenger pays tribute to Giroud´s mental resolve|
|A-League: Central Coast Mariners 1 Adelaide United 0|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Silva: PSG should have beaten Chelsea|
|Jones: Liverpool´s best chance for the title|
|Sherwood: I don´t know best Spurs XI|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester City v West Brom|
|Rodgers: Henderson still vital|
|Lallana: League One was beneficial|
|Leaked line-up no big deal, says Allardyce|
|Moyes wants respect from Everton fans|
|Rodgers: Gerrard is world´s best holding midfielder|
|Silva: PSG must win Coupe de la Ligue|
|Toshack: Messi not to blame for slump|
|Rolando wants Inter stay|
|Juventus must beat Bologna, says Pogba|
|Simeone: Perseverance paid off|
|Keller wary of unlucky Stuttgart|