With the 2014 World Cup qualifiers over, nine national teams have already booked a place in Brazil. Soon another four teams will be joining them, making it 13 participants from the European bracket.
Here we look at events from the final day in Group F:
Azerbaijan 1-1 Russia
Russia needed only a single point to secure first place in the group and that’s exactly what they earned.
Shirokov put the Russians in the lead after 16 minutes and all they needed to do at that point was avoid defeat.
Azerbaijan, however, managed to level the score in injury time, even after they were reduced to 10 men, when Medvedev was sent-off.
Israel 1-1 Northern Ireland
In a match where neither team needed a result, third-placed Israel and Northern Ireland shared the spoils.
Eden Ben Basat gave the Israelis the lead just before half time before Northern Ireland managed to get the equaliser after the break thanks to Southampton midfielder Steven Davis.
Portugal 3-0 Luxembourg
Luxembourg were massive underdogs in this match, especially when Joachim was sent-off in the first half.
Portugal instantly exploited their advantage, taking the lead through Varela.
Nani soon extended the lead and Postiga set the final score ten minutes from time.
Portugal finished runners-up behind Russia, and will have to play two more games to secure a spot at the World Cup finals.
Many might have expected a win by a bigger margin, but there’s no doubt that Ronaldo and co will be a difficult opponent for any team in the play-off.
Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here: http://gms.to/130seMa
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.