Trinidad and Tobago and the Czech Republic advanced to the World Cup for the first time yesterday, the final day of qualifying that began 26 months ago.
Spain qualified for its eighth straight tournament as the final five berths in the 32-nation field were filled. Switzerland ousted Turkey, a 2002 semifinalist, and Australia beat Uruguay to advance for the first time since 1974 and become the first nation to qualify for a World Cup in a penalty kick tiebreaker.
Trinidad and Tobago won, 1-0, at Bahrain to win the home-and-home, total-goals series, 2-1, and become the fourth team in the tournament from North and Central America and the Caribbean.
"When we started in May after three matches the team only had one point and nobody gave us a chance," Coach Leo Beenhakker said. "In the qualifying matches it went better and better, and this, of course, is the result."
The qualifiers will be drawn into eight four-team groups on Dec. 9 in Leipzig, Germany. Next year's tournament runs from June 9 to July 9.
Although Czechoslovakia, which split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1993, played in the World Cup several times, the Czech Republic had never qualified. Its 1-0 home win over Norway, combined with a 1-0 away victory in the first game, pushed the Czechs forward.
"It's the peak of my career," said Coach Karel Bruckner, who led the Czechs to the semifinals at the 2004 European Championship.
Already leading 5-1 from the home leg in Madrid, Spain tied at Slovakia, 1-1, to advance. The Spanish extended their unbeaten streak to 18 games.
"We'll go to the finals with humility, but we have enough quality to do something big," Spain midfielder Xavi Hernandez said.
Dutchman Guus Hiddink, who coached South Korea to the 2002 semifinals, helped Australia end three decades of frustration. The Australians beat Uruguay, 1-0, before 82,698 fans in Sydney and won the tiebreaker, 4-2. Uruguay had won at home, 1-0, last weekend.
The Swiss, leading 2-0 from the first leg in Bern, had a scare in Istanbul, where Turkey won, 4-2, powered by a hat trick by Tuncay Sanli. The teams wound up tied, 4-4, in total goals, but Switzerland advanced on away goals.