Australia, Switzerland, Spain, the Czech Republic, and Trinidad and Tobago have booked their places in next year's World Cup football tournament after winning their respective playoff series Wednesday.
In Sydney, the Australians broke a 1-1 aggregate tie to grab the first available spot Wednesday, with a thrilling penalty kick victory over Uruguay. The Socceroos prevailed 4-2 after scoring a 1-0 win in the second-leg match in Sydney. Uruguay won Saturday's first leg in Montevideo, 1-0. It will be Australia's first World Cup appearance since 1974.
Spain maintained its run of qualifying for every World Cup since 1978 with a 1-1 draw against Slovakia in Bratislava. The result gave the Spaniards a 6-2 aggregate score after they won the opening leg in Madrid on Saturday, 5-1.
The Czech Republic advanced to next year's tournament with a 1-0 win over Norway in Prague. Tomas Rosicky scored the winning goal in the 35th minute and the Czechs took the two-match series, 2-0.
Trinidad and Tobago booked its first-ever berth in the World Cup with a 1-0 win over host country Bahrain in Manama. Dennis Lawrence scored the winning goal in the 49th minute. The two teams had played to a 1-1 draw in the first leg match in Port of Spain last Saturday.
In Istanbul, three goals from Tuncay Sanli were not enough to earn Turkey a place in the World Cup. The Turks beat Switzerland 4-2 but because the Swiss won the first leg match 2-0 at home, they advanced on the away goals rule.
The next major event is the World Cup draw for the 32 qualifying teams next month in Leipzig, Germany. The World Cup starts June ninth in Munich.
Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP.