World Cup Qualifying in UEFA groups F and E has now concluded, with group C's finale still to come on Sunday evening. There were some tight games as well as the inevitable despair of several nations who, after a long, arduous campaign, will not be travelling to Russia in 2018 to take their place amongst the globe's footballing elite.
Group F leaders England ensured qualification on Thursday night with a narrow 1-0 success over Slovenia at Wembley, so they could approach their encounter with Lithuania unencumbered. And that was reflected in the inclusion of debutants Harry Maguire and Harry Winks in an underwhelming 1-0 win in Vilnius that saw a well-taken penalty from Harry Kane seal the win.
Elsewhere in that group, Scotland deployed an attacking lineup away to Slovenia but could only battle their way to a 2-2 draw, despite leading at halftime through Leigh Griffiths' strike. Consequently, the Scots failed to secure a play-off place and their nineteen-year wait for an appearance at a major tournament continues.
That result allowed Slovakia, who lost 1-0 at Hampden Park last time out, to capitalise and steal second spot courtesy of a 3-0 triumph over Malta. Adam Nemec with a hat-trick for the hosts.
Poland had a three-point lead on Denmark at the top ahead of the night's games in Group E and they beat Montenegro 4-2 in a pulsating encounter- Hull City winger Kamil Grosicki amongst the scorers for the Poles. That meant the Danes would be consigned to finishing runners-up regardless of how they performed; they drew 1-1 with Romania in Copenhagen.
Meanwhile, in the 'basement battle' in that group, bottom side Kazakhstan ended a dismal campaign that failed to yield a single win with a draw at home to Armenia. Manchester United midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan was on target for the visitors in that match.
There is more to follow on Sunday, with both Germany and Northern Ireland in action later.