Two goals from Robin van Persie gave the Dutch a 2-0 away win over Andorra to secure top spot in Group D while Italy came from behind with second-half goals from Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Balotelli, to defeat the Czech Republic in Turin and secure top spot in Group B.
Switzerland's 2-0 win over Norway in Oslo left them five points clear of Iceland at the top of Group E with two matches to play but their celebrations were also put on hold as they can still be caught if they slip up in their final two matches. Iceland took a step towards a first World Cup finals appearance when they came from behind to beat Albania 2-1
Russia look on course for Brazil after a 3-1 win over Israel put them top of Group F, a point clear of Portugal, and they still have their fate in their hands with matches against the two bottom teams, Azerbaijan and Luxembourg, to come.
In Group I, France twice came from behind to beat Belarus 4-2 and join world champions Spain at the top of Group I with 14 points, although Spain have a game in hand. At the very least France have secured a play-off spot.
Franck Ribery twice cancelled out Egor Filipenko and Timofei Kalachev's goals early in the second half before substitute Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba found the net to end the former World Cup winners' five-game scoreless run in style.
Goals from debutants Ermin Bicakcic and Izet Hajrovic steered Bosnia to a 2-1 win over Slovakia in Group G and kept them on course to reach their first major tournament as an independent nation.
The result left the Bosnians top of their section with 19 points from eight games and ahead of Greece, who beat Latvia 1-0 at home, on a vastly superior goal difference with two games left.