Two-time champions Uruguay served up a thrilling 3-2 win over Argentina on Tuesday but must now beat Jordan in next month's intercontinental play-off if they are to reach the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.
Saluting his team for a "dignified" end to their regional program, Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez indicated they must not take Jordan lightly.
"Like all Uruguayans I hope we make it through (but) we would be very wrong to think Jordan cannot cause us problems," Tabarez warned.
Despite their loss Ecuador just prised the final automatic slot away from the Uruguayans on goal difference after both landed a points tally of 25.
Uruguay, ranked seventh in the world, had lost their previous qualifier in Ecuador, compromising their hopes. But they did at least sign off with a win and will be optimistic of proving too strong for Asian nation Jordan.
Muslera brilliantly stopped an Erik Lamela volley as Argentina - without the injured Lionel Messi - threatened to wreck any lingering chance the Uruguayans had of sneaking into the final automatic slot.
But the Montevideo crowd were on their feet again as their sky-blue shirted stars again went in front, courtesy of a Luis Suarez penalty - after the Liverpool man had been bundled to the ground in the box - his effort just eluded goalkeeper Sergio Romero.
The Uruguayans again rolled their sleeves up, however, and Edinson Cavani, dangerous all night, made it 3-2 six minutes after the restart.
With Uruguayan hopes resting on the play-offs South America faces the prospect of none of the top four at the last Copa America regional championship in 2011 making it to Brazil.
It was in Brazil that Uruguay scored their most famous win, defeating the Selecao on their own hallowed Maracana turf in the 1950 World Cup final, adding to the Charruas 1930 success.
But now they must endure the play-offs for a fourth consecutive time. To reach Japan/Korea 2002, Uruguay ended Australia's dreams, then lost to the same opponents in a penalty shoot-out ahead of the 2006 finals. Four years ago, they beat Costa Rica.
Jordan are ranked 73rd in the world compared to Uruguay's seventh.
Chile's Alexis Sanchez scored the opener after 35 minutes with a header from an Eugenio Mena cross and Cardiff star Gary Medel added a second from close range just three minutes later.
Felipe Caicedo pulled one back for Ecuador midway through the second half to set up a barnstorming finish
Paraguay, whose 2011 coach Gerardo Martino now coaches Barcelona, endured a miserable campaign featuring just three wins. They miss out on a fifth consecutive finals appearance and closed with a 2-1 home loss to Colombia.
Mario Yepes bagged a brace - his first a free header, his second scrambled in early in the second half, with Jorge Rojas having drawn first blood for the Paraguayans.
Inter Milan midfielder Fredy Guarin was sent off for Colombia, meaning he will miss their first match in Brazil next June.