Nigeria were left to rue their missed chances as a 2-2 draw with South Korea sent the Asian side through to the last 16 for the first time in a World Cup outside their continent.
With Greece playing Argentina, who were so impressive against South Korea last week, both sides would have felt as if they were competing for a place in the next round and most of the match was played out in such a fashion.
Nigeria, who needed a win along with a Greece defeat, were understandably more aggressive for most of the first half, even if their opening goal was against the early run of play.
Full-back Chidi Odiah embarked on a hopeless looking run down the right but was able to walk past Jung-Woo Kim without a challenge and swing over a dangerous cross from near the byline.
Right-back Doo-Ri Cha, only just back in the side ahead of Beom-Seok Oh, looked to have it covered but Kalu Uche showed enough desire to get there first and fire home from close range.
South Korea were finding themselves in and around the Nigerian penalty area on plenty of occasions without looking like providing a danger to Vincent Enyeama.
Instead they had to watch with awe as Uche struck a fierce shot from 30 yards which beat Sung-Ryong but came cannoning back off his left-hand post.
Lesson learned, South Korea found their finishing touch less than two minutes later through the unlikely right shin of centre-half Jung-Soo Lee.
Ki Sung-Yong put the free-kick into the far post where Jung-Soo stooped to head home before shooting instead, low and hard into the corner.
South Korea picked up where they left off in the second period and took the lead four minutes into the half.
Chu-Young Park was the scorer but Enyeama took some of the blame for failing to keep out his low, curling effort from a free-kick 20-yards out.
Nigeria were gifted the perfect opportunity to get back into the match, and the World Cup, when Ayila Yussuf flew into the penalty box down the left and pulled the ball back to Yakubu who, with the goalkeeper bypassed at the front post, had the whole goal to aim at from six yards out but somehow missed.
The Everton striker made amends three minutes later by putting away a penalty won by the energetic Ogbuke Obasi, paving the way for a thrilling final 20 minutes.
South Korea had chances as Nigeria poured forward looking for the goal that would send them through, but the best chance came and went with Obafemi Martins who was put through one-on-one with Sung-Ryong Jung only to chip the ball over the keeper but wide of the post.
South Korea tightened up towards the end to ensure that it would be them playing Uruguay on Saturday.
Nigeria v Korea Republic Full match details