Mark Schwarzer saves the crucial 4th penalty.
A new chapter has been written into Australia's rich sporting history after the Socceroos qualified for the World Cup finals following their 4-2 defeat over Uruguay on penalties at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney.
In what was the most significant night for Australian sport since Cathy Freeman won gold at the Sydney Olympics, the Socceroos outlasted a dogged Uruguay side in a match that yielded just one goal in 120 minutes of football.
After losing the opening leg in Montevideo 1-0, Australia needed to win by two clear goals but finished full-time and then extra time leading the South Americans 1-0.
The hero for the night came in the unlikely form of Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who pulled off two inspirational saves in the shoot-out to ensure Australia would be represented at the World Cup for the first time since 1974.
The Olympic Stadium was drenched in a sea of yellow as 82,000 fans willed the home side to victory first during the initial 90 minutes, then in half an hour of extra time, and finally in the climactic shoot-out.
John Aloisi sealed the victory with the ninth kick of the shoot-out, but it was an all-round team performance that delivered Australia the victory.
Captain Mark Viduka was almost the villain for Australia when he missed his shot on goal in the shoot-out to give Uruguay a chance to level the scores. But Schwarzer's second save made up for Viduka's error and ensured Australia would progress to Germany.
The Socceroos' goal in regulation time came from midfielder Marco Bresciano in the 34th minute after some neat work from Harry Kewell, who played possibly his best match for Australia.
The Socceroos had the crowd in raptures when Kewell delivered the final pass for Bresciano to hammer through a left-foot kick that found its way into the back of the net.
Australia dominated possession and territory throughout the match, but failed to convert chances in the last hour and in extra time.
Midfielders Tim Cahill and Bresciano had several shots on goal in the second half but were denied by the efforts of Uruguayan goalkeeper Fabian Carini and some poor finishing.
It was a nervous opening five minutes for the home side as Uruguay dominated the opening exchanges and peppered the Australian goal with several searching kicks into the box.
A corner off the boot of dangerman Alvaro Recoba in the 11th minute almost had the Uruguayans in front but the header went just inches wide of the post.
Australia's first real opportunity came in the 16th minute when a free kick was paid for a foul on defender Scott Chipperfield just outside the goal box.
Bresciano, called into the side by coach Guus Hiddink to give the Socceroos more attacking strikepower, stepped up but his kick was ill-judged and sailed three metres over the goal post.
Just a minute later Recoba had a golden opportunity to put his side up by a goal when he found himself in space 15 metres out, but just like Bresciano he was off-target and the home side was given a reprieve.
Kewell, relegated to the bench by Hiddink before the game, marched onto the field after 32 minutes to rapturous applause from the Australian crowd.
It did not take long for Australia's most recognisable player to stamp his authority on the match, delivering a sublime flick pass back for Bresciano to crunch the ball into the back of the net and deliver the home side a 1-0 lead that they carried through to the break.
The Australians were punished by the referee in the ensuing 10 minutes, giving away several free kicks that gave Recoba the chance to repeat his heroics from the first match that delivered the game's only goal. But Schwarzer continued his fine form from the first encounter and kept the visitors scoreless until the break.
Kewell was again in the thick of the action minutes into the second stanza, using his pace to scoot past Diego Lugano and draw a free kick. The Socceroos could not convert the opportunity but their intentions to attack were obvious and the chances continued.
Cahill, promoted to the starting side by Hiddink alongside fellow midfielder Bresciano, looked to have given Australia its second goal 10 minutes in, only to be denied by a fantastic save from Carini.
Bresciano followed up with a venomous strike but like his earlier shot the ball's trajectory was too high.
Australia's attacking midfield duo continued to pose problems for the South Americans, Cahill again denied a goal from a header when Carini intercepted a pinpoint cross from Kewell.
In the 77th minute they were at it again, Bresciano delivering a perfect cross to an unmarked Cahill in the box, only to see the header travel well wide of the goal.
Three minutes later Kewell found himself in open space and with a chance to extend the margin to two goals, but his right-foot strike was denied by the outstretched hands of Carini.
But despite the dominance of the Socceroos, they could not kill off the tired Uruguayans who held on to force an extra 30 minutes of play.
Uruguay finished regulation time with star player Recoba and captain Paulo Montero off the ground, and the Australians looked the stronger side as the two teams took to the field for the final 30 minutes.
Hiddink made another change to the line-up five minutes into extra time, replacing Bresciano with John Aloisi.
The substitute was paid a free kick 30 metres from goal within four minutes of his arrival on the field, but Scott Chipperfield's delivery was brought down by the Uruguayan goalkeeper to avert any danger.
The home crowd were willing the Australians to victory, but it was all to no avail as numerous chances went begging as the Uruguay defence clung on for dear life. Aloisi, Kewell and Viduka all had chances in extra time to tip the result in Australia's favour but could not find the net.
With three minutes left on the clock in extra time, Uruguay's Richard Morales narrowly missed a shot on goal when he cracked a ball past Schwarzer that kept travelling left of the post.
Schwarzer then made a crucial save with a minute remaining that ensured the game would go to a penalty shoot-out.
Homer's view on the big win.