Germany and Switzerland are the only sides yet to drop a point after the June European Qualifiers, while Robert Lewandowski is challenging Cristiano Ronaldo to be the competition's top scorer.
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• Nine group winners advance directly to join Russia at 32-team 2018 FIFA World Cup
• Eight runners-up with best record against teams first, third, fourth and fifth in their groups proceed to play-offs to decide remaining four European berths
- ALL THE RESULTS
- PERFECT 18 POINTS: SWITZERLAND & GERMANY – STANDINGS
- TOP SCORERS: ROBERT LEWANDOWSKI, CRISTIANO RONALDO (11) – STATS
- NEXT GAMES: 31 AUGUST TO 5 SEPTEMBER– FIXTURES AND RESULTS
Leaders: Sweden (13 points)
Second: France (13)
A last-gasp winner gave Sweden a 2-1 success over France and took them top on goal difference. Under new coach Dick Advocaat, the Netherlands overcame Luxembourg 5-0 with a goal for Wesley Sneijder as he claimed a national-record 131st cap, that result moving the Oranje above Bulgaria into third, three points off the leaders.
31 August: Bulgaria v Sweden, France v Netherlands, Luxembourg v Belarus
Leaders: Switzerland (18)
Second: Portugal (15)
Switzerland made it six wins out of six with victory in the Faroe Islands, but two Cristiano Ronaldo strikes in Latvia ensured Portugal kept up the pressure. Andorra achieved their first competitive win since 2004 with a result that leaves Hungary eight points off second. Portugal do not host Switzerland until the final games on 10 October, but both could be confirmed in the top two by 3 September.
31 August: Hungary v Latvia, Portugal v Faroe Islands, Switzerland v Andorra
Leaders: Germany (18)
Second: Northern Ireland (13)
Sandro Wagner's hat-trick helped a young Germany team to a comfortable win against San Marino that maintained the other remaining perfect record in qualifying. Stuart Dallas's last-gasp Northern Ireland clincher means they now have a four-point cushion over the Czech Republic, pegged back in Norway. Germany can seal a top-two finish by winning in the Czech Republic next time; in fact, they have a mathematical chance of qualifying on 4 September when the holders welcome Norway.
1 September: Czech Republic v Germany, Norway v Azerbaijan, San Marino v Northern Ireland
Leaders: Serbia (12)
Second: Republic of Ireland (12)
There was little change at the top after both frontrunners mustered valuable equalisers, Aleksandar Mitrović denying Wales in Belgrade and Jon Walters rescuing the Republic of Ireland from a costly home defeat at the hands of Austria. Those goals kept their opponents four points back, while adding suspense to the Dublin meeting between the top two on 5 September.
2 September: Georgia v Republic of Ireland, Serbia v Moldova, Wales v Austria
Leaders: Poland (16)
Second: Montenegro (10)
Robert Lewandowski's treble against Romania means he has now struck in 11 straight qualifiers. The Bayern forward is also level with Cristiano Ronaldo as top scorer in these qualifiers, but, more importantly, his goals helped keep Poland six points clear. Montenegro stay above Denmark on goal difference as their respective wins left Romania and Armenia four points off second.
1 September: Kazakhstan v Montenegro, Denmark v Poland, Romania v Armenia
Leaders: England (14)
Second: Slovakia (12)
England led 1-0 in Scotland with three minutes left and had still not conceded in the group when two Leigh Griffiths free-kicks turned the match – only for Harry Kane to grab an added-time equaliser. Slovakia took advantage by winning in Lithuania to climb to within two points of England, while also-victorious Slovenia are just one point further back, three in front of Scotland.
1 September: Lithuania v Scotland, Malta v England, Slovakia v Slovenia
Leaders: Spain (16)
Second: Italy (16)
All eyes will be on Madrid on 2 September when Spain and Italy lock horns to potentially determine first place. Once again, neither side put a foot wrong on Sunday, though Spain were given a minor scare in their 2-1 victory in FYR Macedonia, David Silva and Diego Costa striking early before their hosts rallied. Italy enjoyed a more comfortable evening as five different scorers punished Liechtenstein to close the goal-difference gap, while Albania leapfrogged Israel into third – seven points off the pace.
2 September: Albania v Liechtenstein, Israel v FYR Macedonia, Spain v Italy
Leaders: Belgium (16)
Second: Greece (12)
Belgium doubled their lead over Greece, who were held 0-0 in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Bosnians remain a point off second place and four clear of Cyprus, following the latter's late winner in Gibraltar. Greece entertain Belgium on 3 September with a mathematical possibility the visitors would be able to rubber-stamp qualification that day.
31 August: Belgium v Gibraltar, Cyprus v Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece v Estonia
Leaders: Croatia (13)
Second: Iceland (13)
There was late drama in Reykjavik as Hordur Magnússon gave Iceland what could prove a priceless 1-0 victory over section leaders Croatia, his strike lifting the hosts level at the summit on 13 points. There are now just two points separating the top four, in fact, after both Turkey and Ukraine also prevailed to keep up the pressure.
2 September: Croatia v Kosovo, Finland v Iceland, Ukraine v Turkey