The Czech Republic won 3-0 in Finland to finish second in Group One behind Holland, surprisingly held 0-0 at home by lowly Macedonia
With Ukraine already qualified, Turkey, semi-finalists four years ago, were happy to earn a place in the play-offs after a 1-0 win in Albania.
Tumer Metin scored the winner and the Turks finished a point ahead of Denmark, who won 2-1 in Kazakhstan, and two in front of European champions Greece, 1-0 winners against Georgia.
“We were let down by our results at home and the opening loss against Albania,” Greece coach Rehhagel said. “Even if 10 years pass, part of my heart will be Greek. We have plenty of time for these decisions . . . [They] are not taken under pressure.”
Portugal had already won Group Three but beat Latvia 3-0, Pauleta scoring the first two and breaking Eusebio’s record of 41 international goals.
Slovakia drew 0-0 against Russia and qualified for the play-offs at their visitors’ expense.
France were grateful to Zinedine Zidane for inspiring them to the win that guaranteed the former World Champions to a place in next year’s finals.
Zidane, who recently came out of international retirement, opened the scoring in a must-win game against Cyprus. It was his 28th international goal, and with further strikes from Wiltord Dhorasoo and Giuly, France qualify as group winners.
Ireland failed in their quest to earn a play-off spot as they were held to a goalless draw by Switzerland who finished second in the group.
Italy, who overcame Moldova 2-1, had already qualified as group winners while Norway, conquerors of Belarus, were already assured of a play-off place.
In the group’s other game, Scotland produced an impressive performance to defeat Slovenia 3-0.
England leapfrogged Poland to win Group Six following their 2-1 win over the Poles.
Goals from Michale Owen and Frank Lampard were enough to see off the visitors, who qualify automatically for the finals as on ethe best runners-up.
Northern Ireland slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Austria in Group Six and had Damien Johnson sent off in the 75th minute for a lunge at Middlesbrough’s Emanuel Pogatetz, who was dismissed for retaliation.
Elsewhere, Wales defeated Azerbaijan courtesy of two strikes from Ryan Giggs.
Serbia-Montenegro defeated Bosnia 1-0, courtesy of a 7th minute Mateja Kezman effort and, even though the home team had Nemanja Vidic sent off late in the game, they held on to qualify from Group Seven.
Spain finished two points adrift despite a 6-0 win in San Marino, where Fernando Torres scored a hat-trick to take his total to five goals in his last two matches.
Croatia were held to a 0-0 draw in Hungary but guaranteed a finals place from Group Eight, while Sweden also go to the finals as one of the best runners-up following their 3-1 win over Iceland.
Goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrik Larsson and Kim Kallstrom helped the Swedes overturn a one-goal deficit on the night.