Uruguay staged a second half comeback to book their place at next year’s Rugby World Cup, defeating Russia 57-49 on aggregate.
The hosts became the 20th and final team to book their place in England next year. Los Teros will join Australia, England, Wales and Fiji in Pool A of the world’s biggest Rugby tournament.
Heading into the match, Russia had a tenuous one-point lead after edging the first leg 22-21 in Krasnoyarsk two weeks previously.
But in front of a packed crowd of around 14,000 at Estadio Charrua in the Uruguayan capital, the home team overturned that slender deficit and, in the process, emulated the success of previous national sides, who qualified for the Rugby World Cup in 1999 and 2003.
Russia had seemed in control for large periods of the game. The first half was heading towards a 12-12 stalemate but a late penalty awarded to the visitors just outside the Uruguay 22 was quickly tapped by the ever-aware fly-half Yuri Kushnarev when the defence thought a kick at goal was on the cards.
Kushnarev drew the winger on the left and put scrum-half Alexander Yanyushkin in to the corner for an opportunistic try that silenced the hitherto vociferous home support.
With the conversion missed, the Russians nonetheless went into the break buoyant, leading on 17-12, an aggregate lead of six points.
But despite a lead-stretching penalty by Kushnarev shortly after half-time, Los Teros hit back with three devastating tries, from outside centre Joaquin Prada, prop Alejo Corral and scrum-half Agustin Ormaechea, all three of which were converted by Berchesi. The match was turned on its head.
Try as they might, Russia couldn’t find a way back into the game and, although wing Vasily Artemyev scored a converted try in the 77th minute, it was not enough.
A nervy last few minutes finally gave way to unbridled joy by Uruguayan players and their passionate fans.
Tries: Prada, Corral, Ormaechea
Cons: Berchesi 3
Pens: Berchesi 5
Tries: Yanyushkin, Artemyev
Pens: Kushnarev 5
Yellow Card: Igretsov, Simplikevich
Uruguay: 15 Gastón Mieres, 14 Santiago Gibernau, 13 Joaquín Prada, 12 Alberto Román, 11 Jeronimo Etcheverry, 10 Felipe Berchesi, 9 Agustín Ormaechea, 8 Alejandro Nieto, 7 Diego Magno, 6 Juan Gaminara, 5 Rodrigo Capó, 4 Santiago Vilaseca, 3 Oscar Durán, 2 Nicolás Klappenbach, 1 Alejo Corral
Russia: 15 Vasily Artemyev, 14 Vladimir Ostroushko, 13 Mikhail Babaev, 12 Dmitry Gerasimov, 11 Denis Simplikevich, 10 Yury Kushnarev, 9 Alexander Yanyushkin, 8 Victor Gresev, 7 Andrei Ostrikov, 6 Andrew Temnov, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Alexander Voitov (c), 3 Andrew Igretsov, 2 Valery Tsnobiladze, 1 Gregory Tsnobiladze
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Eugene Pronenko, 18 Andrey Garbuzo, 19 Paul Butenko, 20 Ramil Gysin, 21 Alexei Shcherban, 22 Igor Kluchniko
Referee: Romain Poite