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'
|Inzaghi finds positives in lacklustre display|
|Eredivisie Review: AZ move third, Propper fires Vitesse to victory|
|Chievo 0 Milan 0: Pressure back on Inzaghi|
|Bundesliga Review: Derby win for Dortmund superheroes, Leverkusen go fourth|
|Ligue 1 Review: Lyon loss leaves door open for PSG|
|Bueno nets perfect hat-trick in four-goal spree for Rayo|
|Carver impressed with Newcastle´s fighting spirit|
|Van Gaal explains Di Maria decision|
|Luis Enrique angered by Granada pitch|
|Sherwood confident of Villa survival|
|Referee East says ´no mistaken identity´ as Poyet pledges to look again|
|League One Review: Robertson and Johnson off to winning starts, Bristol City go eight clear|
|Bruce angered by missed decision|
|Berahino can be ´top class´ - Pulis|
|Grateful Gutierrez thanks ´special´ fans|
|Monk targets Swansea points record|
|Klopp´s ´perfect´ afternoon|
|Victory soured by Ireland injury, says Hughes|
|Championship Review: Middlesbrough´s opportunity missed as Derby are defeated|
|Koeman: I am realistic on Champions League|
|League Two Review: Burton beaten again, Hartlepool gain welcome lift|
|´Triple punishment´ rule could be scrapped|
|Scottish Premiership Review: Inverness slip up as strugglers prosper|
|Mancini wary of Fiorentina quality|
|Hearts attack hits double figures in Scotland|
|West Brom 1 Southampton 0: Berahino wins it, then limps off|
|Manchester United 2 Sunderland 0: Rooney at the double amid red card controversy|
|Newcastle United 1 Aston Villa 0: Cisse strike downs visitors|
|Stoke City 1 Hull City 0: Super sub Crouch secures win|
|Granada 1 Barcelona 3: Suarez inspires routine win|
|Burnley 0 Swansea City 1: Trippier own goal proves decisive|
|Borussia Dortmund 3 Schalke 0: Late show seals dominant derby win|
|Referee Dowd fails to make it through West Brom, Saints clash|
|Allardyce ´shocked´ after home loss|
|Pardew lauds Murray after ´mixed afternoon´ for striker|
|West Ham 1 Crystal Palace 3: Pardew enjoys more away-day success|
|Blanc: PSG prepared for confident Monaco|
|Ancelotti: Isco place is non-negotiable|
|Pellegrini out to end dismal record at Anfield|
|Roma v Juventus: Matri eyes glory in title tussle|
|Martinez wary of wounded Arsenal|
|A-League Review: Spectacular Sydney derby the highlight|
|Perez to testify in corruption case|
|Bentaleb determined to avoid European hangover|
|Liverpool cannot dwell on Europa exit, says Rodgers|
|Marquinhos welcomes Manchester United interest|
|Tottenham must be ´nearly perfect´ to beat Chelsea - Pochettino|
|Bielsa: I take responsibility|
|League Cup final ´most important´ for Mourinho|
|Rodgers unsure if European exit will be a blessing|
|Vitoria Guimaraes 1 Maritimo 0: Hosts end winless run|
|Guardiola satisfied with Cologne victory|
|Espanyol 1 Cordoba 0: Abraham goal secures the points|
|Marseille 2 Caen 3: Hosts throw lead away yet again|
|Bayern Munich 4 Cologne 1: Champions move 11 points clear|
|Dordrecht 2 Go Ahead Eagles 1: Klaiber leaves it late|
|Luis Enrique laments English ´campaign´ over Suarez|
|Atletico Madrid v Sevilla: Champions attempt to bounce back|
|De Gea dismisses ´lies´ about Van Gaal relationship|
|Monaco v Paris Saint-Germain: Jardim wants no Champions League distractions|
|Inter v Fiorentina: Both sides on a high after Europa League success|
|Real Madrid v Villarreal: Ancelotti´s side looking to keep chasing pack at bay|
|Arsenal v Everton: Hurting Wenger calls for immediate response|
|Hull and Panathinaikos among four clubs pay FFP fines|
|Liverpool v Manchester City: Champions eye long-awaited Anfield success|
|Lucas Moura out for at least four weeks|
|Chelsea v Tottenham: Mourinho´s men channel spirit of 2005|
|Loan move to Ipswich an easy decision for Wood|
|Qatar World Cup final no later than December 18 - Blatter|
|Martinez excited by Kiev draw|
|Dynamo face disciplinary hearing after crowd trouble|
|Hughes close on signing new Stoke deal|
|Parma game called off again|
|De Boer to stay at Ajax|
|Arnesen backs Vieira as potential future City director of football|
|Mourinho has no fears over Wembley referee|
|Van Persie absent for Sunderland clash|
|Mason hoping to relive 2008 at League Cup final|
|Fiorentina and Roma to meet in Europa League|
|Inter finalise Felipe swoop|
|Poyet delighted to have ´contagious´ Cattermole back|
|Melbourne City 3 Adelaide United 1: Baharudin triggers crucial comeback|
|Chelsea can cope with Matic absence - Terry|
|Mancini: I tried to take Guarin to Galatasaray|
|Wilshere undergoes ankle procedure|
|Bruce: Most Championship clubs would struggle with FFP|
|Henry would say yes to Arsenal job|
|Mignolet backs ´devastated´ Liverpool to regroup|
|Tiote looks set to miss the rest of the season|
|Copa Libertadores Review: Osvaldo scores for Boca, Internacional win|
|Alajuelense 5 DC United 2: Costa Ricans set for semis|
|Besiktas settled score with Liverpool - Cenk|
|Montella: Hard to keep Salah|
|Martinez salutes Everton´s qualification|
|Europa League games marred by crowd trouble|