(CNN) -- A dramatic final night of World Cup qualifying has seen all of the 32 places decided with European powerhouses France and Portugal going through.
They were joined from Europe by Greece and Slovenia, while the African playoff saw Algeria beat Egypt 1-0 in a dramatic match in Khartoum.
In South America, Uruguay qualified with a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica, winning 2-1 on aggregate.
The tournament already promises to be the greatest ever, with top teams of the caliber of Spain, Italy, Germany, Brazil, Argentina, England, the Netherlands, Ivory Coast and Ghana sealing their places previously.
Here is CNN's round-up of the final qualifying duels for coveted places in South Africa.
Algeria have claimed the final spot from Africa with a dramatic 1-0 win over Egypt in their playoff match in Khartoum.
Antar Yahia put Algeria 1-0 ahead as he rifled home a superb volleyed effort after 39 minutes.
It was a goal worthy of winning World Cup qualification, but Algeria had to withstand intense pressure from the Pharaohs in the second half in Sudan.
The playoff was necessary after Egypt beat Algeria 2-0 in Cairo, with a last-gasp goal on Saturday.
This meant both teams finished level on points in Group C and with their goal difference and head-to-head records the same, a deciding match had to be played in the neutral country.
Euro 2004 winners Greece beat Ukraine 1-0 in Donetsk to claim the first spot on Wednesday night.
Dimitrios Saplingidis cleverly beat the offside trap to score the only goal of the match in the 32nd minute for the visitors.
The first leg in Athens was scoreless, but Greece took advantage of the first half goal and defended solidly after the break to book their place in South Africa.
Portugal qualified with a 1-0 win in Bosnia-Herzegovina to go through 2-0 on aggregate, meaning the injured Cristiano Ronaldo will be gracing the finals.
Raul Meireles scored the only goal in the 56th minute in Zenica to earn Portugal a fifth finals appearance.
Slovenia joined them in South Africa with a 1-0 win over Russia in Maribor, perhaps the biggest shock of the playoffs in Europe.
Zlatko Dedic's goal after 44 minutes was enough after a 2-1 defeat in Moscow on Saturday which left them with a crucial away goal.
But the real drama was reserved to last as Ireland took the early lead against France in Paris to level the tie 1-1 on aggregate.
Robbie Keane scored his 44th international goal for the Republic after great work by Damien Duff on the left.
But a controversial 104th minute extra-time equalizer by William Gallas saw the French through 2-1 on aggregate.
Gallas scored after TV replays showed his former Arsenal teammate Thierry Henry to clearly handle the ball twice in quick succession before setting him up to score.
Irish protests were waived away and they could not force an equalizer at the Stade de France in a frantic finale.
South American/CONCACAF play-off:
Uruguay qualified for the 2010 World Cup with a 1-1 draw with Costa Rica in Montevideo, having won the away leg 1-0 on Saturday.
Substitute Sebastian Abreu put the South Americans 2-0 ahead in the 65th minute, nodding Diego Scotti's cross past goalkeeper Keylor Navas just five minutes after coming on.
Costa Rica captain Walter Centeno reduced the overall deficit four minutes later, pouncing after Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera failed to hold Alvaro Saborio's effort.
The Charruas held on despite seven minutes of time added on, qualifying for the first time since 2002 following a third successive playoff.