Germany, Belgium, Columbia qualify for FIFA 2014 World Cup
Germany, Belgium and Switzerland reached the World Cup finals on Friday as England, defending champions Spain, Russia and Bosnia-Herzegovina all edged closer.
On-loan Everton striker Romelu Lukaku scored two first-half goals as Belgium beat Croatia 2-1 to became the third European team to reach the World Cup finals on Friday. (All AP and AFP images)
Tottenham Hotspur's Andros Townsend crowned his international debut with a fine goal as England beat Montenegro 4-1 on Friday to close on a place at next year's World Cup.
Denmark's hopes of a World Cup revival suffered a blow on Friday after a late equaliser by Alberto Aquilani helped Italy secure a 2-2 draw that maintained their unbeaten record in Group B.
Germany booked their place at the 2014 World Cup with a convincing 3-0 win over the Republic of Ireland on Friday.
Russia moved closer to a berth in the 2014 World Cup with a confident 4-0 win over hosts Luxembourg in their European qualifying Group F.
Colombia pulled off an amazing fightback to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1998, rallying from 3-0 down to snatch a 3-3 draw against 10-man Chile in a six-goal thriller. Monaco striker Radamel Falcao was the hero for the home side.
Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick on Friday to become the all-time Dutch top scorer as the Netherlands thrashed Hungary 8-1 in a World Cup qualifier. The Netherlands had already qualified for next year's finals, and Hungary's hopes of consolidating second place in Group D were erased by a vintage Dutch performance.
Spain moved to within a point of sealing their place at next year's World Cup with an unconvincing 2-1 win over Belarus in Mallorca on Friday. Second-half goals from Xavi and Alvaro Negredo put Vicente del Bosque's men in charge.