(Reuters) – Uruguay failed to break down Venezuela in a 0-0 draw on Thursday and were left waiting to bag what looks a certain place at the 2018 World Cup finals.
The Uruguayans, second in the South American group behind already qualified Brazil (38), are on 28 points and could secure their berth in Russia when three other qualifiers are played later in the region.
Semi-finalists in South Africa in 2010, Uruguay expect to take one of four automatic South American berths and go into a third successive finals.
It will be the first time in five qualifying campaigns this century that Uruguay have avoided an inter-confederation playoff.
They have reached three finals via two-legged playoffs since 2002, but missed out on Germany 2006 after losing to Australia.