ZURICH: Belgium, who became the first European side to seal a spot in Russia next year after the latest round of European World Cup qualifiers.
A 2-1 victory over Greece left them eight points clear in Group H with two games to play.
All three goals came in a five-minute spell from the 69th minute, with Jan Vertonghen’s long-range strike and Romelu Lukaku’s powerful header sandwiching Zeco’s equaliser.
Luxembourg sprang a nasty surprise on France by holding their hosts goalless in Toulouse.
The team from the Grand Duchy defied a full-strength France frontline in Toulouse featuring Antoine Griezmann, Olivier Giroud, Thomas Lemar, Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappe.
France were held at bay by goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert and it was Luxembourg who almost snatched all three points late on when Gerson Rodrigues was denied by the post. Griezmann and Paul Pogba had earlier each hit the crossbar.
Didier Deschamps’ side still lead Group A from Sweden but only by a single point with two games to play.
Netherlands gave their faltering qualification hopes a boost with a 3-1 victory in their must-win Group A clash against Bulgaria in Amsterdam.
Brighton’s Davy Propper scored Holland’s first and third goals, with Arjen Robben getting the other.
Georgi Kostadinov gave Bulgaria hope 20 minutes from time when he briefly made it 2-1.
Sweden still hold the advantage, though, after a 4-0win over Belarus, with France’s unexpected slip meaning top spot is very much still in play.
Bosnia moved ahead of Greece in the race for second spot in Group B with a 4-0 victory over Gibraltar, Edin Dzeko netting twice, while Cyprus‘ hopes of pinching second appear over after they went down to an injury-time Mattias Kait strike in Estonia.
Domagoj Vida scored the only goal as Croatia fended off Kosovo at the second attempt. The match resumed on Sunday after torrential rain in Zagreb froced the players after 20 minutes on Saturday night.
They began at the point play had been abandoned, and minnows Kosovo threatened an upset until Vida secured a 1-0 win by heading home Luka Modric’s free-kick in the 74th minute.
Modric curled the ball in from the left flank and defender Vida strode through a static Kosovo back line to plant his header into the net.
Victory took Croatia back to the top of Group I, having been briefly unseated from that position by Ukraine. They will be swiftly back in action too, facing a trip to play Turkey on Tuesday, when Kosovo play Finland.
Modric was among Croatia players highly critical of the pressures placed on the players by the refusal to, at the least, push the Turkey game back to Wednesday.