With many countries already looking forward to participation in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, two days in October gave the remaining hopefuls the chance to claim a place in the finals or play-offs. Croatia qualified for the play-offs despite ending their group matches with two defeats; going down 2-1 at home to group winners Belgium -who were later held to a 1-1 draw at home to Wales- and losing 2-0 in Scotland. Armenia continued to impress, but fell short of the play-offs ending their campaign with a 2-1 home win over Bulgaria and a 2-2 draw in Italy having twice led the four times world champions in Naples, while the Czech Republic who defeated Malta 4-1 and Bulgaria 1-0 in away matches also failed to progress from their group. Having already qualified for the finals, Germany came from behind to widen the gap between themselves and their hosts with a 5-3 win in Sweden, while the Dutch showed no mercy hammering the hapless Hungarians 8-1 in Amsterdam before winning 2-0 in Turkey, who had enjoyed the reverse result in Estonia, to finish their group well ahead of Romania who had earlier won 4-0 in Andorra. Portugal dropped vital points when a late goal gave Israel a 1-1 draw in Lisbon while Russia were winning 4-0 in Luxembourg and the Israelis themselves were held to a 1-1 home draw by Northern Ireland 4 days later. Among other noteworthy results in Europe were Latvia's 2-0 loss in Lithuania and Spain's narrow 2-1 win at home to lowly Belarus, while by far the most surprising result was Moldova's 5-2 triumph in Montenegro moving them above their hosts in the rankings.
In South America Uruguay lost 1-0 in Ecuador, but returned home to defeat Argentina 3-2 and qualify for the play-offs while Paraguay drew 1-1 in Venezuela and lost 2-1 at home to Colombia to finish bottom of the group below Bolivia who finished with a 1-1 draw in Peru.
In North America Mexico's 2-1 win at home to Panama on the penultimate day proved priceless as they scraped through to the play-offs while in Africa the first leg of the play-offs saw Ghana bury Egypt 6-1 in Kumasi.
In Asia the continental qualifiers saw Syria lose 2-1 in Singapore and Iraq surrender 2-0 to Saudi Arabia in Jordan while Qatar put 6 past their visitors from Yemen without reply having lost 2-1 at home to Vietnam in a friendly earlier in the month. In another friendly match the Philippines were beaten 2-1 at home to Taiwan.