[WORLD CUP: Playoffs]
The final playoffs for the 2014 World Cup were remarkably similar to those of four years ago. The same five African teams won their series.
Three of the four European teams -- Portugal, Greece and France (without the help this time from the hand of Thierry Henry
) -- went through again -- Croatia
replaced neighboring Slovenia as the fourth -- and Uruguay was the last team to qualify.
The Celeste claimed the 32nd and final place with a 0-0 draw against Jordan in the second leg of
their intercontinental playoff on Wednesday though the suspense had ended the week before when it won, 5-0, in Amman.
Indeed, it was the fourth successful playoff for Uruguay, which also
won series in 2001 and 2009 but lost in 2005.
Uruguayan star Luis Suarez
was held scoreless, so he finished tied with Robin van Persie
of the Netherlands and Deon McCaulay
of Belize for the lead in goals in 2014 qualifying with 11 each.
fifth-place finish the South American zone, Uruguay, fourth at the 2010 World Cup and winner of the 2011 Copa America, will be one of the eight seeded teams at the World Cup draw on Dec. 6 in
The other seven seeded teams: Brazil, Spain, Germany, Argentina, Colombia, Belgium and Switzerland.