England’s group H rivals Poland let San Marino score for the first time this campaign before winning 5-1 to keep their hopes of qualification alive.
Germany had Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil to thank as they moved a step nearer Brazil with a 3-0 win in the Faroes. Thomas Muller was also on target, leaving them needing just one more win to be sure of qualifying.
Liverpool’s Daniel Agger scored a penalty to keep Denmark’s hopes alive with a 1-0 win in Armenia.
Fabio Capello’s Russia took control of group F by beating Israel 3-1 to overtake Portugal. They now have 18 points, one more than Cristiano Ronaldo and Co.
Two goals from Fabian Schar helped Switzerland book their place in Brazil by beating Norway 2-0.
Italy and the Netherlands also sealed their places at the World Cup finals. The Azzuri came from behind to beat the Czech Republic while Robin van Persie handed the Dutch a routine win over Andorra.