Luis Suarez kept his calm to score from the spot, but it was not enough as Uruguay lost a nail-biting penalty shoot-out to Italy in the Confederations Cup third-place play-off.
Reds defender Sebastian Coates was an unused substitute as the two sides played out a pulsating 2-2 draw in normal time, and after 30 minutes of extra time, penalties beckoned.
Suarez took Uruguay's third and side-footed home with precision. However, Martin Caceres and Walter Gargano were both foiled by Gianluigi Buffon as the Italians claimed third place with a 3-2 win in the shoot-out.
In this whirlwind match, Italy went ahead on 24 minutes. Alessandro Diamanti's free-kick hit the post, bounced onto the shoulder of Uruguayan 'keeper Fernando Muslera and into the path of David Astori, who tapped home.
On 58 minutes, Gargano sent a perfectly-weighted pass into the path of Edinson Cavani and he side-footed beyond Buffon to level proceedings.
Diamanti hit back from a fine free-kick to restore the Italian's lead with just over 15 minutes remaining; however, Cavani came up trumps once more, producing a wonderful free-kick of his own to take the game to extra time.
Nothing could separate the two teams in the half-hour that followed - even despite Italy's Riccardo Montolivo seeing red for a second bookable offence after fouling Suarez near the edge of the area.
Then came the shoot-out and Suarez slotted calmly to level the scores; however, Caceres and Gargano shot straight at Buffon and the Uruguayans were forced to settle for fourth place in tournament.