Elsewhere France won away from home without the banished Yohan Cabaye.
Italy had to come from behind to seal their place with two games to spare after former Lazio frontman Libor Kozak fired Czech Republic ahead after 19 minutes in Turin.
Giorgio Chellini headed the Azzurri level on 52 minutes, when Petr Cech failed to deal with a corner, before Mario Balotelli stroked home the winning penalty moments later.
Theodore Gebre Selassie recklessly gave away the penalty and a bad night for the Czech defence was rounded off when Daniel Kolar saw red with a minute left.
Robin van Persie sent Holland through to Brazil with a second-half double in a 2-0 win over Andorra.
France had to twice come from behind to beat Belarus 4-2 and end their run of five games without scoring.
Franck Ribery twice had to equalise after goals from Egor Filipenko and Timofey Kalachev before Samir Nasri and Paul Pogba secured three points to move France level with Spain - who have played a game less - in Group I.
After Turkey beat Romania 2-0 in Bucharest earlier in the evening, the Dutch knew victory would be enough to confirm their place in the World Cup finals.
Louis van Gaal's side made heavy work of it but Van Persie's goals on 50 and 55 minutes were enough.
Germany moved to the brink of securing their place with a comfortable 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
Per Mertesacker (23), Mesut Ozil (74 pen) and Thomas Muller (84) scored the goals while Alti Gregersen saw red for the hosts on 73 minutes.
Sweden are Germany's closest rivals in Group C, five points adrift, after Zlatan Ibrahimovic's goal after 27 seconds earned a 1-0 win over Kazakhstan.
Austria kept their hopes alive after David Alaba struck late to beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Vienna.
Switzerland could have progressed from Group E following their 2-0 win over Norway, with defender Fabian Schar netting in each half.
But Iceland's 2-1 win over Albania in the late game ensured Swiss celebrations were kept on hold.
Iceland moved up to second place - and in sight of a first ever major tournament - after goals from Birkir Bjarnason (13) and Kolbeinn Sigthorsson (47) cancelled out Valdet Rama's ninth-minute opener.
Slovenia are a point behind Iceland in a tight group following their 2-0 win in Cyprus.
Finland beat Georgia 1-0 to remain five points behind the top two.
Russia moved top of Group F with a 3-1 win over Israel in St Petersburg.
Fabio Capello's side are a point ahead of Portugal, who were not in action, while Luxembourg produced the shock of the night as they beat Northern Ireland 3-2.
Mathias Janisch stabbed home the winner three minutes from the end.
Daniel Agger kept Denmark's hopes of qualification from Group B alive from the penalty spot as his side defeated 10-man Armenia 1-0 in Yerevan.
Agger did not miss from 12 yards after Varazdat Haroyan brought down Viktor Fischer in the 73rd minute, placing the ball into the bottom left corner to beat Armenia goalkeeper Gevorg Kasparov.
Haroyan was shown a red card for the challenge on Fischer after it earned him his second booking of the night - his first came in the second minute for a foul on Nicki Bille Nielsen.
The result means Denmark have 12 points while Armenia remain on nine, with Italy leading the group comfortably .
First-half goals from Deivydas Matulevicius and Tadas Kijanskas gave hosts Lithuania their second win in Group G as they claimed a 2-0 victory over Liechtenstein in Marijampole.
The Lithuanians, who claimed their other win against the same opponents in Vaduz almost a year ago, improved their record to two wins and two draws from seven games.
The result lifted them into fourth place in the group ahead of Baltic rivals Latvia, but any hopes of claiming a top-two place in the group had long gone.