Taro Daniel won his first ever Davis Cup match to hand Japan a 3-2 victory over Colombia, a victory which means they will remain in the Davis Cup World Group for the third successive year.
With Colombia having claimed the honours in Saturday's doubles rubber, Japan were 2-1 down heading into the tie's final singles matches.
World number six Kei Nishikori took care of his side of the bargain, beating local hero Santiago Giraldo 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(3) to level the tie.
And so it was left to Daniel, who had lost his three previous Davis Cup matches, to down veteran Alejandro Falla.
It was Falla who lost the decisive fifth match when Japan triumphed over Colombia in 2012, and the 31-year-old once again came unstuck at the final hurdle, with Daniel claiming a magical 7-6(3), 6-3, 6-2 victory.
Youngster Borna Coric was the star for Croatia as they downed Brazil 3-1. Croatia held a 2-1 advantage heading into Sunday's singles, meaning that they could wrap up the tie with a victory first up.
Up against Brazilian number one Thomaz Bellucci, Coric was leading 6-2, 3-6, 7-6(4), 4-0 up when Bellucci was forced to retire due to a back injury.
Philipp Kohlschreiber was the star for Germany as the Germans beat the Dominican Republic 4-1 in their World Group play-off tie. The world number 34 won both of his singles matches and teamed up with Philipp Petzschner to win the doubles rubber on Saturday.
It was Kohlschreiber's straight sets victory over Victor Estrella Burgos on Sunday that gave Germany an unassailable 3-1 lead and booked their place in the World Ground for next year's competition.