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'
|APOEL eye Europa League despite winless road streak|
|Silva disappointed by ´childish´ errors|
|Slutsky happy to keep ´intrigue´ alive|
|A-League Preview: Brisbane begin life after Mulvey|
|Eredivisie Preview: Ajax targeting improvement|
|Shakhtar did not lack motivation - Shevchuk|
|Bayern lament two errors, Guardiola proud|
|Valcke: It will ´take years´ to rebuild FIFA´s reputation|
|Luis Enrique ´never fed up´ of Messi magic|
|Valverde pleased with Bilbao triumph|
|Messi revels in Champions League milestone|
|Loss was a ´crying shame´ - De Boer|
|Suarez relieved to get off the mark for Barca|
|Pellegrini puts Aguero among best in the world|
|Cavani wants top spot|
|Howedes sorry for Schalke collapse|
|Sporting Lisbon 3 Maribor 1: Slimani helps fire hosts into second place|
|Concord Rangers 0 Mansfield Town 1: Palmer edges League Two side through|
|Mourinho salutes ´complete´ Chelsea after Schalke stroll|
|Lopetegui revels in Porto professionalism|
|MK Dons 2 Rochdale 2: Green rescues hosts a point|
|Manchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Aguero the hero as City rekindle Champions League dream|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 0 Athletic Bilbao 1: Hosts qualify despite poor performance|
|Paris Saint-Germain 3 Ajax 1: Strike duo terrorise Dutch side|
|APOEL 0 Barcelona 4: Messi breaks record after Suarez opener|
|Schalke 0 Chelsea 5: Blues clinch top spot in style|
|Serbia turn to Curcic|
|Inter v Dnipro: Juan wants early qualification|
|Sporting-Maribor delayed as lights go out in Lisbon|
|Garcia upbeat despite late setback|
|The making of Lionel Messi: How it all started for the Champions League´s record goalscorer|
|Tottenham v Partizan: Pochettino´s men look to seal qualification|
|Messi breaks Champions League scoring record|
|Wolfsburg v Everton: Distin buoyed by good run|
|Allegri expects improved away display|
|Rodgers: First goal crucial for Liverpool confidence|
|CSKA Moscow 1 Roma 1: Late leveller keeps Russians in the hunt|
|Ancelotti not worried about record|
|BATE 0 Porto 3: Belarusians knocked out but go into the record books|
|Klopp looking forward to Champions League distraction|
|Parish urges Warnock to stop ref rage|
|UEFA Europa League Preview: Celtic and Inter seek home wins to advance|
|Diame could make Hull return on Saturday|
|QPR lose Sandro to knee injury|
|Juanmi fractures arm|
|Wilshere out for ´a while´ - Wenger|
|Wenger hits back at Usmanov|
|De Jong back in training for Newcastle|
|Chelsea ´head and shoulders´ above rest - Giggs|
|Stevens returns to Stuttgart|
|Cheltenham sack Yates|
|Giggs open to United exit to further career|
|Sampaoli relaxed after Copa America draw|
|Pekerman eyes Copa America revenge|
|Time for City to produce - Nasri|
|Copa Sudamericana Preview: River search for form ahead of Superclasico|
|K. League Preview: Cup winners Seongnam eye safety|
|Argentine Primera Division Review: Racing Club beat River Plate to go top|
|Guardiola: Desperate City are dangerous|
|Paraguayan Division Profesional Review: Libertad back on top as Cerro Porteno slip up|
|Brazil to meet Colombia at Copa America|
|Koeman backs ´great´ Forster|
|Lambert delighted with makeshift Villa defence|
|Koeman remains confident of top-four finish|
|Granada 0 Almeria 0: Visitors hold on to move out of bottom three|
|Genoa 1 Palermo 1: Hosts rue Pinilla miss in lively draw|
|Aston Villa 1 Southampton 1: Saints spoil Lambert´s 100th game|
|No let-up from Bayern - Guardiola|
|Turkish Super Lig Review: Besiktas and Fenerbahce gridlocked, Yanal makes winning start|
|Basel v Real Madrid: Ancelotti approaching winning record|
|Russian Premier League Review: Zenit extend advantage, Torpedo win marred|
|Mourinho not interested in Reus|
|Pellegrini dismisses Messi rumours|
|Anderlecht v Galatasaray: Faint hopes remain alive in Belgium|
|Luis Enrique: Barca must beat APOEL|
|Indian Super League Preview: Materazzi keen to maintain momentum, Goa host Kerala|
|Arsenal v Borussia Dortmund: Klopp visits Emirates amid switch rumours|
|Fer concerned by QPR away form|
|Shakhtar must not underestimate Athletic - Lucescu|
|Indian Super League Review: Chennaiyin well-placed for post-season, Delhi win|
|Atletico Madrid v Olympiacos: Atleti on the brink of last 16|
|Dragons take American football player on trial|
|Di Matteo has no thoughts of Chelsea revenge|
|Vermaelen could require surgery|
|Destiny in Roma´s hands - Garcia|
|Ludogorets v Liverpool: Rodgers demands improvement|
|Malmo v Juventus: Pogba issues rallying cry|
|Blanc demands killer instinct against Ajax|
|Bayer Leverkusen v Monaco: Germans looking to progress|
|Aguero and Jovetic fit to face Bayern|
|Ancelotti reveals contract talks|
|Slutsky targeting Champions League last 16|
|PSV receive Guardado boost|
|Ter Stegen waiting for Barcelona chance|
|Allardyce hopeful Carroll can stay injury-free|
|Arsenal must be ruthless - Arteta|
|Veh resigns from struggling Stuttgart|
|Juventus have ´more quality´ this season, says Pogba|
|Copa America win can restore Brazil´s confidence – Marin|
|Lallana issues rallying cry|
|Fritz confident Bremen can turn things around|
|Bruce backing Hull to stay out of trouble|
|Lambert determined to transform Villa|
|Valdez: Suarez needs ´miracle´ for Copa America|
|Real Madrid heading to Australia for ICC|
|Martinez: Lukaku can become ´best striker in the world´|
|Koeman slams ´crazy´ Christmas fixture list|
|Iniesta, Vermaelen unavailable for Cyprus trip|
|Zenit v Benfica: Pereira, Lima set to return for Portuguese champions|
|Inzaghi sorry for derby stalemate|
|Colombian Primera A Review: Medellin on cusp of final, Santa Fe deny Huila|
|Mancini ´very happy´ with derby draw|
|Peruvian Primera Division Review: Sporting Cristal beaten|
|Liga del Futbol Profesional Boliviano Review: Late Blooming spark sends Oriente second|
|Venezuelan Primera Division Review: Trujillanos stay top, Metropolitanos embarrassed|
|Liga MX Review: Pachuca, Pumas UNAM reach play-offs|
|MLS Review: Wins for Galaxy, Revolution|
|Ecuadorian Primera A Review: Top three fail to score, Olmedo win big|
|Brazilian Serie A Review: Cruzeiro retain title|
|Chilean Primera Division Review: Universidad Chile held, Colo Colo go top|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Cartagines into fourth|
|Uruguayan Primera Division Review: Champions Nacional win again|