Uruguay must play a two-legged play-off tie with Jordan after finishing outside the automatic qualification places for next year's World Cup despite edging out Argentina 3-2 in a thrilling encounter at the Estadio Centenario.
Oscar Tabarez's men finished alongside fourth-placed Ecuador on 25 points in the CONMEBOL table, but it is La Tri who booked their spot at Brazil 2014 by virtue of a better goal difference.
Los Charruas will at least enter their play-off encounter in high spirits following a morale-boosting win over an Argentina side that were missing several key players but were already guaranteed to finish top of the standings.
The hosts twice took the lead through Christian Rodriguez and Luis Suarez's penalty, only to be pulled back on both occasions by former Liverpool forward Maxi Rodriguez, before Edinson Cavani sealed victory just after half-time.
Uruguay began the day three points behind third-placed Chile and Ecuador, while an inferior goal difference to both teams also seriously hindered their chances of clinching one of the two remaining automatic qualification berths.
Yet they made an ideal start as the deadlock was broken as early as the fifth minute when Suarez's free-kick was flicked on by Diego Lugano to Christian Rodriguez to slot home.
Argentina did not take too long to level, however, with Maxi Rodriguez applying the finishing touch after Augusto Fernandez had chested down a Rodrigo Palacio cross from the left nine minutes later.
Suarez put Uruguay ahead once again in the 33rd minute, with a penalty that Argentina goalkeeper Sergio Romero was very close to saving.
But La Albiceleste, despite missing key players such as Lionel Messi, Gonzalo Higuain and Javier Mascherano, pulled level once again through their stand-in captain Rodriguez, who cut in from the right and drilled past Fernando Muslera with a left-foot shot four minutes before half-time.
With their automatic qualification hopes all but over, Cavani did at least ensure victory for Uruguay in the 49th minute after converting from Suarez's pass in the 48th minute.
Uruguay needed another four goals to avoid the play-off tie, following Chile's 2-1 win over Ecuador, but they could not find a way past Romero again.
Cavani expressed his frustration after the match, saying: ``Uruguay have always suffered. It seems we like suffering.''
``We were hopeful that Chile could win (against Ecuador) and we wanted to score a lot of goals, as many as possible.''
Ahead of the tie with Jordan, which will see the Asian side play the first leg as hosts, Cavani told Argentinian TV Channel TyC Sports: ``We've done our job quite well so far and we hope we can win both games.''
``It is an advantage for us to play the first leg in Jordan.''