Portugal ended 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 almost impossible by Aurelien Joachim's red card, with Silvestre Varela and Nani scoring in quick succession 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'
|Ronaldo in ´perfect´ condition|
|Lloris blasts Spurs|
|Copa Libertadores Wrap: Lanus advance|
|Klinsmann delighted for in-form Dempsey|
|Costa Rica Primera Division Wrap: UCR seal fourth spot|
|Sturridge hopeful of facing Chelsea|
|Liga MX Preview: Battle for play-off places continues|
|MLS Preview: Rimando on verge of record|
|CONCACAF Champions League: Toluca 1 Cruz Azul 1 (1-1 agg, Cruz Azul win on away goals)|
|MLS: New York Red Bulls 4 Houston Dynamo 0|
|Jesus excited by Juventus clash|
|Pizzi: Europa League semi a career highlight|
|A-League Preview: Wanderers welcome Mariners in semi-final|
|Ancelotti: Real survived without fit Bale, Ronaldo|
|Guardiola: Real ´unstoppable´ on the break|
|Ramos urges Real to be positive|
|Robben ´expected more´ from Real|
|UEFA Champions League: Real Madrid 1 Bayern Munich 0|
|Blanc hails match-winner Matuidi|
|Ligue 1 Wrap: PSG close in on title as Matuidi strike downs Evian|
|AFC Champions League Wrap: Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Bunyodkor leave it late to progress|
|Liverpool reveal Anfield expansion plans|
|Ligue 1: Paris Saint-Germain 1 Evian 0|
|Conte wary of fatigue factor|
|Januzaj opts to play for Belgium|
|Mourinho, Faria, Ramires charged by FA|
|Serie A Preview: Roma v Milan|
|Emery focused on first leg|
|Vorm endorses Van Gaal for United role|
|Hamann: Benitez would be a very good match for United|
|Verbeek reveals disappointment after Nuremberg axe|
|Dorrans can be the difference - Olsson|
|Hoger returns to Schalke training|
|Giggs not ready for United job, says May|
|Thauvin would welcome Bielsa arrival|
|Martinez will not rush Jagielka|
|Bremen to focus on developing young players|
|Brady hoping to win race against time|
|Alexis would take Juve to next level - Ravanelli|
|Champagne criticises ´polarisation´ of European football|
|Moyes breaks silence with dignified statement|
|Butland has learned plenty in Leeds stay|
|Bennett desperate for Norwich return|
|Icardi rumours inevitable, says agent|
|Championship Preview: Relegation likely for Yeovil Town, Barnsley|
|Moratti: Zanetti could have become Inter president|
|Giggs quick to ask for Scholes help|
|Giroud wants Arsenal stay, Wenger new deal|
|World Cup chance excites Ameobi|
|Barcelona transfer ban suspended|
|Rossi returns to training|
|Liverpool owners already planning for next season|
|Verbeek sacked by Nuremberg|
|League One Preview: Shrewsbury must win as relegation battle intensifies|
|Chelsea tie ´completely open´, says Filipe Luis|
|Title race will go to the wire - Pellegrini|
|Farina sacked by Sydney FC|
|Cech suffers dislocated shoulder|
|Ronaldo fitness will not be risked - Ancelotti|
|O´Farrell: Moyes sacking a growing trend|
|Serie A Preview: Juventus out to seal title, Roma host Milan|
|Leicester dominance unexpected, says Pearson|
|Copa Libertadores: Bolivar 1 Leon 1 (3-3 agg)|
|Bundesliga Preview: Nuremberg still fighting for survival|
|No regrets for Leonardo|
|Wilkins backs Ancelotti for United|
|Ayre: Champions League vital to attract stars|
|Mignolet: 30-goal Suarez ´amazing´|
|Giroud: I want to stay|
|Advantage Chelsea, says Simeone|
|Mourinho flags weakened Anfield line-up|
|Cech out for season, Terry facing fitness fight|
|Gabi: Chelsea draw leaves bad taste|
|Championship Wrap: Leicester crowned champions, Reading boost play-off hopes|
|Schwarzer praises determined Chelsea|
|UEFA Champions League: Atletico Madrid 0 Chelsea 0|
|AFC Champions League Wrap: Defending champions Guangzhou progress|
|I feel sorry for Moyes - Ancelotti|
|United players should be ashamed, says Keane|
|Valcke: Stadium will be ready for World Cup opener|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Sevilla v Valencia|
|Pique defends Fabregas|
|Kehl out for two weeks with groin injury|
|McCartney wants new West Ham deal|
|Diaby set for Arsenal return|
|De Sciglio claims Real interest|
|Capoue returns to Tottenham training|
|Icardi wants to stay at Inter|
|Plenty of positives for Monreal|
|Mirallas out of Everton run-in|
|I want Ronaldo to play - Guardiola|
|Blanc expects Ibrahimovic return|
|Bodde in induced coma|
|Sagbo fined after admitting quenelle charge|
|Guardiola rules out United switch|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Benfica v Juventus|
|AFC Wimbledon charged with fielding an ineligible player|
|Salvio undergoes surgery|
|McCarthy dreaming of Europe|
|Khedira may return before end of season|
|Ronaldo faces fitness test ahead of Bayern clash|
|Fryatt in Bruce´s plans|
|Bale back in Real training|
|Tonev ready to produce for Villa|
|Hard work ahead for Newcastle, says Pardew|
|Risse hails ´incredible feeling´ after promotion|
|Jones rues slow start|
|Blackstock hit with FA charge|
|No decision over Lyon future, says Garde|
|Giggs named interim United boss|
|Klopp ´committed to Dortmund´|
|Houllier backs Liverpool title bid|
|Marchisio expects difficult Benfica test|
|Gabi hoping Torres will not make return|
|Five low points of Moyes´ Manchester United reign|
|Davies expects Bony interest|
|United part company with Moyes|
|Top-half finish needed for Schuster, Malaga|
|Susic asks for Pjanic, Lulic to be released early|
|Mertesacker: Injuries hampered campaign|
|Sterling hails Rodgers|
|Capello to retire after 2018 World Cup|
|Paraguay Division Profesional Wrap: Libertad stay top with big win|
|Chile Primera Division Wrap: Relegation battle continues|
|Uruguay Primera Division Wrap: Penarol stay top|
|Argentina Primera Division Wrap: Gimnasia La Plata go top|
|La Liga: Malaga 2 Villarreal 0|
|Mel ready for ´cup final´|
|City have a ´duty´ to push for title, says Pellegrini|