Argentina scraped the last automatic qualification place in South America after a 1-0 win over Uruguay.

Substitute Mario Bolatti hit a late winner to ensure Diego Maradona's side a place in South Africa next year, after the home defence had failed to clear a Juan Sebastian Veron free-kick.

Uruguay finished the game with 10 men after Martin Caceres picked up a second booking in the build up to Argentina's goal.

They will now have to battle it out in a two-legged play-off against Costa Rica if they are going to make it to the finals.

Top-of-the-table Brazil preserved their unbeaten home record as they held Venezuela to a 0-0 draw at Campo Grande.

The result of the game was immaterial as Venezuela came into the match effectively out of the running for fifth-place, and the stalemate leaves Brazil as group winners on 34 points.

Kaka could have ended the qualifying campaign with a win for the home side, but his shot rebounded off the post in the second half.

Chile were already ensured of a place in South Africa before their game against Ecuador, and they celebrated their qualification with a 1-0 win.

Ecuador had an extremely slim chance of reaching next year's tournament before start of play but were undone by a Humberto Suazo strike before Wolves midfielder Segundo Castillo was sent off for an ugly challenge.

Peru rounded off a disappointing campaign on a high with a narrow 1-0 win over fellow group minnows Bolivia in Lima.

Johan Fano hit the only goal after 53 minutes but he turned villain just two minutes later when he was shown a straight red card.

Fano's exit levelled up the numbers on the pitch after Bolivia had earlier been reduced to 10 men following the dismissal of Rosauro Rivero for a second yellow card in the first half.

Elsewhere, Paraguay, who had already qualified before the last round of fixtures, slumped to a 2-0 home defeat to Columbia.

Second-half goals by Adrian Ramos and Hugo Rodallega saw already-eliminated Colombia climb to seventh in the final standings, while Paraguay settled for third.