Goals from Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard secured England's place in the FIFA World Cup finals as Poland were beaten 2-0 at Wembley.
Manchester United striker Rooney opened the scoring with his seventh goal in the six Group H games he has featured in to put England on course for Brazil.
Roy Hodgson's side wasted several chances and Poland goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny produced a string of saves on a tense evening, but Gerrard sparked a party at Wembley with a second goal two minutes time to secure the three points England needed to qualify and top the group.
The visitors - backed by a huge away following of around 18,000 - had their chances, with Robert Lewandowski in particular having a night to forget.
Chris Smalling was given the nod to replace the suspended right-back Kyle Walker in the England starting line-up, while Michael Carrick was preferred to Frank Lampard in midfield.
There were three changes to the Poland side beaten by Ukraine on Friday night, with Szczesny replacing Artur Boruc in goal, while Piotr Celeban and Waldemar Sobota also came in.
The game started at a frantic pace and after the in-form Andros Townsend's ninth-minute strike was parried away by Szczesny, Danny Welbeck dived desperately to get to the rebound but headed wide.
Poland were dangerous on the counter-attack and Sobota should have done better when he was afforded too much space but fired wide of the near post, then England were given another let-off when Lewandowski raced clear but fired wide with only Joe Hart to beat.
There was no let-up in the action and the tricky Townsend rattled the crossbar with a thumping left-foot strike, then Szczesny denied Daniel Sturridge following up before Welbeck somehow dragged a shot wide from point-blank range when it seemed easier to score.
Welbeck was presented with another chance 11 minutes before half-time when Gerrard played him in with a cushioned pass, but the Manchester United striker failed to get the ball out of his feet and Szczesny came out to avert the danger.
It seemed it would be only a matter of time before the breakthrough came and the opening goal duly arrived five minutes before the break, when Leighton Baines picked out Rooney with a pinpoint delivery and the striker rose unmarked to head home from six yards out.
Poland made a bright start to the second half and Gary Cahill did well to get in the way of a goal-bound shot from Mateusz Klich, on as half-time substitute.
Cahill came close to a second England goal five minutes after the break when the busy Szczesny palmed away his downward header from a Gerrard corner, then Grzegorz Krychowiak almost put the ball into his own net when he stretched to cut out Rooney's cross.
Lewandowski went one-on-one with Hart once again on the hour-mark, but the England keeper raced out and narrowed the angle to thwart the Borussia Dortmund striker.
Rooney almost had a second after 66 minutes only for Szczesny to tip away the England striker's long-range strike that was bound for the far corner and Sturridge was also denied by the Arsenal keeper once again.
But Gerrard eased the tension when he burst into the penalty area and beat Szczesny with a tidy finish.
|10||W. Rooney||41' 80'|
|Coach: R. Hodgson|
for M. Carrick 71'
for D. Sturridge 82'
for A. Townsend 86'
|City won´t make top four, says James|
|Clyne eyes Premier League title with Liverpool|
|Dos Santos key to Galaxy´s bid for continental dominance|
|Brazil to play Costa Rica in New Jersey|
|Ajax loss ´sad for Dutch football´ - De Boer|
|United target Bale happy at Real|
|Guardiola furious but Mihajlovic defends De Jong: ´Football isn´t dancing´|
|Champions League top priority at PSG - Di Maria|
|UEFA Champions League Review: Ajax crash out after home defeat|
|Blackpool handed suspended deduction|
|Bayern Munich 3 Milan 0: Guardiola and De Jong lock horns in tunnel|
|Akpom, Ojo and Solanke on the move|
|McClaren: No Newcastle bid for Austin|
|Real Madrid 2 Tottenham 0: Bale on target against former club|
|Mangala vows to improve on debut campaign|
|Tomlin completes Bournemouth switch|
|Astra v West Ham: Page hungry for first-team action|
|Di Maria arrives in Qatar for PSG medical|
|Vitesse v Southampton: Caulker prepared to wait for his chance|
|UEFA rejects Fenerbahce´s Fred appeal|
|Watford show support for assaulted fan as police charge six|
|Ibrahimovic to miss PSG opener|
|Klopp suited to Bayern job - Watzke|
|Eredivisie season-opener postponed due to police strike|
|Dortmund v Wolfsberger: Tuchel set for home bow|
|Griezmann at the double in Atletico win|
|Japan v South Korea: Halilhodzic calls for ´pride´|
|Mourinho enjoying improved relationship with Abramovich|
|Gradel agrees Bournemouth return|
|Inter switch an ´easy decision´ for Miranda|
|Bojan eyes early comeback|
|Vitesse hopeful over Solanke loan deal|
|Pedro will decide his own future - Luis Enrique|
|Iniesta handed Barcelona armband|
|Kukesi punished after Europa League abandonment|
|Leno hints at Leverkusen exit|
|Benitez explains Ronaldo absence|
|Pochettino backs Kane to be among world´s best|
|Messi not ruled out of Mexico friendly - Martino|
|China v North Korea: Kim´s side look for another win|
|River Plate v Tigres UANL: Copa Libertadores final evenly poised|
|Real target Ceballos focused on Betis - Mel|
|Torres: I´d give my life to win La Liga with Atletico|
|Platini can lead FIFA change - Fernandez|
|Mel: Betis won´t be signing Osvaldo|
|Ferrero defends Samp boss Zenga|
|Pochettino expects Spurs improvement|
|Bale ideal for United - Robson|
|Ferdinand: Di Maria will regret United failure|
|Benitez pleased with goalkeepers as De Gea transfer saga continues|
|Guardiola tips fit Schweinsteiger to shine|
|Confident Oxlade-Chamberlain hits back at Keane|
|Ferdinand: Stones would be ´a lunatic´ to join Chelsea|
|Qarabag v Celtic: Gordon wants positivity from Scottish champions|
|Higuain rejects extension from Napoli|
|Zamora returns to Brighton|
|West Ham can cope without Valencia - Gold|
|Wickham loses on Palace debut|
|Guardiola: No problem with Matthaus and Effenberg comments|
|Cartabia excited by Deportivo loan|
|Lyon confirm Rafael deal|
|Hysaj agrees deal to follow Sarri to Napoli|
|Rafael says his goodbyes to Manchester United|
|Dos Santos ready to get going with Galaxy|
|Pochettino rejects Soldado exit talk|
|Metatarsal misery for Mulumbu|
|Benitez: Benzema and Bale going nowhere|
|Mihajlovic: Ibrahimovic would make Milan title contenders|
|Hughes not taking any risks with Bojan|
|Guardiola relishing Audi Cup test|
|Di Maria ´taking a step up´ - Silva|
|Leicester bring in defender Benalouane|
|Deulofeu doubtful for Premier League opener|
|West Ham striker Valencia out for three months|
|UEFA: Qarabag-Celtic to go ahead|
|Palace seal Wickham swoop|
|Ronaldo and Benzema to miss Audi Cup|
|Marotta: Juventus could lose Pogba|
|Kante completes Leicester switch|
|Khedira ruled out for two months|
|FA accepts Mourinho criticism of Wembley surface|
|Robben rubbishes injury talk|
|Marchisio expects Milan title challenge|
|Rafael set for Lyon move|
|Celtic ´seeking reassurances´ over Qarabag pitch|
|Wenger beating Mourinho does not affect Chelsea - Zouma|
|Rooney moved by Everton welcome|
|Mancini not worried by lack of Inter goals|
|Coloccini wants to finish career at Newcastle - McClaren|
|Ramsey: Pressure to win trophies is nothing new|
|Terry: Wembley defeat could be a ´blessing in disguise´|
|Blatter not running for IOC re-election|
|Bendtner: Wolfsburg can challenge Bayern for Bundesliga honours|
|Liverpool relishing Britannia return, says Henderson|
|Everton big enough to keep Stones - Martinez|
|MLS Review: Fire stun Dallas as goals dry up|
|New Atletico signings excite Raul Garcia|
|Cahill expects Arsenal title challenge|
|Jovetic happy with Inter debut|
|Luis Enrique: Barca defence must improve|
|Yanev calls for calm after ugly scenes in friendly|
|Coppa Italia Review: Cittadella romp to victory, Brescia rely on penalties|