Portugal ended FIFA World Cup qualifying Group F with a 3-0 win over Luxembourg in Coimbra, but face a play-off to reach Brazil 2014.
Tuesday's game had become somewhat of a formality with Portugal sat three points behind Russia, who picked up a group-winning point at fourth-placed Azerbaijan, following a disappointing 1-1 draw away to Israel on Friday.
After managing to keep Portugal out for almost half an hour, the visitors' task was made near impossible by Aurelien Joachim's red card, with Silvestre Varela and Nani hitting a quick-fire double to move Portugal ahead.
With the hosts having little to play for, Luxembourg rallied in the second half, but they were put to bed by Helder Postiga's late third.
Paulo Bento made five changes to the side held by Israel, while Nani was named captain in the suspended Cristiano Ronaldo's absence.
Requiring Russia to slip up as well as a swing in goal difference, the home side were quick out the blocks and dominated.
Visiting goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert saw Varela head over in just the third minute and had to be alert after saving Nani's long-range effort to tip away Postiga's follow-up.
Postiga had the ball in the net, but was called offside, Fabio Coentrao nodded onto the crossbar and Nani's header was fantastically saved by Joubert as Portugal turned the screw.
And the pressure seemed to get to Joachim, who was rightly dismissed on 28 minutes for a studs-up tackle on midfielder Andre Almeida.
The hosts made the advantage count just two minutes later. Joao Moutinho threaded a perfect throughball to Varela, who raced clear, took the ball away from Joubert and tapped into the empty net.
And they doubled the lead after 37 minutes with Moutinho again the creator. Nani played the ball into the Monaco man, who returned it to his captain with a neat back-heel and the winger smashed his finish into the roof of the net.
Joubert and an offside flag denied Josue and Coentrao respectively as the hosts had to settle for a two-goal buffer at the break.
The tempo dropped drastically in the second half, although Varela remained a threat on both flanks with some surging runs and dangerous crosses.
Lars Krogh Gerson had the visitors' brightest moment just after the hour mark with a sweetly struck half-volley, but it was straight at Rui Patricio.
That perhaps gave Luxembourg confidence and the Sporting Lisbon keeper was forced to scramble across his goal to see Tom Laterza's ambitious shot from the right touchline wide.
But Portugal wrapped up the win in the closing stages, substitute Hugo Almeida flicked Josue's cross to Postiga, and the Valencia striker slotted underneath Joubert to give the hosts confidence heading into November's play-offs.
|Coach: Paulo Bento|
for Miguel Veloso 58'
for Ricardo Costa 59'
for Fábio Coentrão 76'
|La Liga Wrap: Strugglers Rayo, Malaga pick up valuable away wins|
|Primeira Liga: Maritimo 2 Vitoria Guimaraes 1|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Paris Saint-Germain v Bayer Leverkusen|
|Turkish Super Lig Wrap: Fenerbahce, Trabzonspor clash abandoned|
|Seedorf upbeat over Milan chances|
|Wenger outlines Arsenal belief|
|Russian Premier League Wrap: Lokomotiv go top, Anzhi post first win|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Barcelona v Manchester City|
|Castro calls for fans´ support|
|Survival fight wide open, says Mutch|
|Bruce calls for league focus|
|Hoeness admits tax fraud|
|Shea returns to Stoke|
|Van den Brom leaves Anderlecht|
|Stevens ready for Stuttgart challenge|
|Liverpool clash excites Carrick|
|Villa eyeing top-half finish, claims Bertrand|
|Silva happy to remain in Paris|
|Gosling admits FA charge|
|Getafe confirm Contra as new coach|
|Reina considers future America move|
|Giroud: We must believe against Bayern|
|Wolves lodge complaints over alleged racist abuse|
|Gladbach sign Sommer to replace Ter Stegen|
|Getafe part company with Garcia|
|Strootman World Cup hopes in serious doubt|
|Clyne backs Palace to survive|
|Liverpool striving for perfection, says Allen|
|Simeone expecting tough Milan test|
|De Guzman confident ahead of West Brom clash|
|Guardiola wary of Arsenal threat|
|Mel speculation is ´crazy´, says Foster|
|Taarabt not fearing Atletico|
|Mourinho expects to lose Torres for ´couple of weeks´|
|Heitinga: Survival a trophy for Fulham|
|Carvajal plays down injury fears|
|Oxlade-Chamberlain eyes Arsenal cup success|
|Benitez praises Reina, Higuain|
|Shaw focusing on Southampton not England|
|Bayern must be aggressive, says Guardiola|
|Venezuela Primera Division Wrap: Zamora increase advantage with Tachira scalp|
|Uruguay Primera Division Wrap: Nacional capitalise on Fenix fumble|
|Liga MX Wrap: Tigres UANL end Cruz Azul unbeaten run|
|Ecuador Primera A Wrap: Independiente, Loja slip up to send Emelec top|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: Wins for Herediano, Deportivo Saprissa|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Wrap: Club Universitario open gap|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Colo Colo cruise past Union La Calera|
|Benitez: 11th-hour injuries could not halt Napoli|
|La Liga Wrap: Real capitalise on Barca slip-up, Valencia and Bilbao draw|
|Primeira Liga Wrap: Benfica extend lead, Porto close in on Sporting|
|Garcia frustrated by toothless Roma|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: Lille pull clear of Saint-Etienne, Lyon stage dramatic fightback|
|Thohir hints at Zanetti retirement|
|Serie A Wrap: Callejon sinks Roma, Juventus equal record|
|Ancelotti urges Real focus|
|Lazio fans boycott match in protest|
|CAF Confederation Cup Wrap: Djoliba, Petro de Luanda progress|
|CAF Champions League Wrap: Al Ahly survive after shootout, Cotonsport hammer Flambeau|
|League One Preview: Sheffield United out to build on cup exploits|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Atletico Madrid v Milan|
|UEFA Champions League Preview: Bayern Munich v Arsenal|
|La Liga: Real Madrid 3 Levante 0|
|Pellegrini wants reaction in Barcelona|
|Championship Preview: Derby aim to bounce back, QPR face Brighton|
|Bundesliga Wrap: Dortmund edge Freiburg, Mainz rescue point|
|Rosler revels in Wigan success|
|Eredivisie Wrap: Ajax held, Twente beaten|
|Kehl is Dortmund´s man with a plan|
|Poyet eager to forget cup exploits|
|Thai Premier League Wrap: Muang Thong United, Buriram United with perfect starts|
|FA Cup: Manchester City 1 Wigan Athletic 2|
|Mazzarri warns Inter after narrow win|
|Bruce excited by ´great´ FA Cup draw|
|Mata optimistic ahead of key games|
|Mata optimistic ahead of key games|
|League Two Preview: Chesterfield eye riposte, Scunthorpe meet Southend|
|Bundesliga: Freiburg 0 Borussia Dortmund 1|
|Hull to face Sheffield United in FA Cup semis|
|Powell switches attention to league after Cup exit|
|Montella bemoans slow Fiorentina start|
|Serie A: Inter 1 Torino 0|
|FA Cup: Hull City 3 Sunderland 0|
|Conte declares Juve ´50 per cent champions´|
|Clough aiming for more glory days|
|Championship: Blackburn Rovers 1 Burnley 2|
|CSL Wrap: Guangzhou Evergrande, Shandong Luneng make winning starts|
|Etherington set to leave Stoke|
|FA Cup: Sheffield United 2 Charlton Athletic 0|
|Leverkusen´s Hegeler set to miss rest of season|
|Hodgson wants to see out England contract|
|Serie A: Juventus 1 Fiorentina 0|
|Garcia does not fear Getafe sack|
|Gourcuff: Blanc is not a coach|
|Martinez delighted with ´fresh´ Barkley|
|Calderon believes Betis can survive|
|K-League Wrap: Ulsan gain Pohang revenge, Jeonbuk beat Busan|
|Abbas lodges complaint over alleged racist abuse|
|A-League Wrap: Brisbane extend lead, Perth hold Wellington|
|Solskjaer praises ´leader´ Caulker|
|Defeat to Fiorentina was a ´wake-up call´, says Conte|
|Wenger confident ahead of Bayern challenge|
|Hughton frustrated at missed opportunities|
|Mourinho insists title in City´s hands|
|Stuttgart replace Schneider with Stevens|
|MLS Wrap: Vancouver thrash Red Bulls, Sporting fails in Seattle|
|Ranieri hails Berbatov´s performance after maiden goal|
|Schneider refuses to ´run away´ from Stuttgart|
|´Loyalty´ means nothing to Hodgson|
|CONCACAF Champions League Preview: Cruz Azul next for Sporting|
|Hoddle: Sherwood should have kept complaints in-house|
|Penalty hero Leno worried about Leverkusen´s ´uncertainty´|
|Keller praises Schalke´s ´right response´|
|AFC Champions League Preview: Evergrande face tricky trip|
|Ancelotti hails Isco as ´the new Seedorf´|
|La Liga Wrap: Barcelona lose again, Atletico go top|
|Simeone applauds ´specialist´ Villa|