World champions New Zealand snatched a narrow win over Ireland thanks to a last-minute drop-goal by Dan Carter.
The Irish, who had led the second Test 10-0 after a try by Conor Murray, had been on the verge of only their second ever draw against the All Blacks.
New Zealand, playing in Christchurch for the first time since the 2011 earthquake, went ahead early in the second half after Aaron Smith's try.
Jonathan Sexton kicked Ireland level at 19-19 before Carter's last-gasp winner.
Battling Ireland may have failed to achieve a first win over the All Blacks, but Declan Kidney's tourists will be heartened by a display which kept the game in the balance throughout.
After a one-sided first Test in Auckland, which the revitalised Irish were much more competitive in the redeveloped AMI Stadium.
In front of a 21,000 sell-out crowd, the Kiwis were rocked by Murray's 10th-minute try for Ireland.
After Sexton kicked a penalty into the corner, Ireland successfully claimed Rory Best's line-out delivery. The drive was held up just short but Murray lifted and quickly find the slightest of gaps to touch down.
Sexton then added a penalty to give Ireland an encouraging 10-0 advantage.
New Zealand gradually turned up the heat and the pressure forced some mistakes from Ireland.
An offside verdict led to Dan Carter's first penalty and he added another after the Irish failed to roll away.
Ireland conceded another soft penalty when Mike Ross was caught coming in from the side and Carter duly reduced the deficit to one point.
The record scorer in Test rugby could have given New Zealand an interval lead but was short with a long-range penalty attempt.
However, the home side made a strong start to the second half and were rewarded with Smith's 43rd-minute try.
Ireland were under pressure straight form the kick-off and scrum-half Smith, who had made his international debut in the Auckland Test, was driven over for his try for the All Blacks.
Carter landed a terrific touchline conversion and, at 16-10, many would have expected Steve Henson's men to pull away.
Sexton and Cater exchanged penalties before two more kicks from the Leinster number 10 brought Ireland level at 19-19 with less than 12 minutes left.
New Zealand were reduced to 14 men in the 72nd minute when full-back Israel Dagg was sin-binned for a flattening follow through on his opposite number Rob Kearney.
Sexton's penalty attempt, which would have given Ireland the lead, did not have the distance.
However, Ireland looked like avoiding defeat in New Zealand for the first time until Carter scrambled over the drop goal after a five-metre scrum in front of the posts.
New Zealand: Dagg, Guildford, C Smith, S Williams, Savea, Carter, A Smith, Woodcock, Hore, O Franks, Retallick, S Whitelock, Thomson, McCaw, Read.
Replacements: Elliot, B Franks, A Williams, Cane, Weepu, Cruden, B Smith.
Ireland: Kearney, McFadden, O'Driscoll, D'Arcy, Trimble, Sexton, Murray, Healy, Best, Ross, Tuohy, Ryan, McLaughlin, O'Brien, Heaslip.
Replacements: Cronin, Fitzpatrick, O'Callaghan, O'Mahony, Reddan, O'Gara, Zebo.
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)