The streets of Montevideo were packed with jubilant supporters draped in the national flag pounding drums, celebrating manically.
This was the first time Uruguay have qualified for the World Cup finals since 1990.
However, critics argued the national side should never have claimed a slot for Korea and Japan through the back door.
They believed their national side were good enough to win one of the four automatic qualifying slots in South America, rather than finishing fifth.
Uruguay lost only five of 18 matches, one fewer than both Brazil and Paraguay, who finished above them.
But 0-0 draws at home to Peru and away in Bolivia, matches Uruguay were expected to collect three points from, proved costly.
The undoubted highlight of their qualifying campaign was their 1-0 home victory over mighty neighbours Brazil at the Estadio Centenario.