England took a step closer to next year's World Cup finals as they earned a 1-0 Group Six victory in Wales.
Joe Cole hit the only goal early in the second half when his shot deflected off Danny Gabbidon on its way into the net.
Scotland earned a point in a draw with Italy when Kenny Miller's early strike was cancelled out by Fabio Grosso.
Northern Ireland earned their first competitive win for four years when goals from Stuart Elliott and Warren Feeney, a penalty, saw off Azerbaijan.
Group Five result:
Scotland 1-1 Italy
Group Six results:
Northern Ireland 2-0 Azerbaijan
Wales 0-1 England
Goalflashes and major incidents (all times BST):
1925: FULL-TIME Scotland 1-1 Italy
Scotland produce a heroic performance to earn a point against Italy. Even though substitute Fabio Grosso equalised Kenny Miller's early goal, they defended stoically to get the draw.
1921: Gennaro Gattuso's shot seems to deflect off Andy Webster as it flies over the Scotland bar but the officials disagree and award a goal-kick.
1920: Four minutes are to be added on.
1919: Andrea Pirlo lifts a ball into the Scotland box but once again Craig Gordon is there to save the danger.
1918: Scotland break out and Barry Ferguson has a go from distance - his 25-yard effort whistling past the post.
1916: Scotland substitute Craig Beattie marks his debut by collecting a yellow card for putting his arm across the face of Fabio Cannavaro.
1916: Craig Gordon to the rescue again as he grabs the ball inside the Scotland six-yard box with substitute Luca Toni lurking.
1915: A shot from Gennaro Gattuso is blocked and almost falls for Christian Vieri until David Weir intervenes.
1913: Free-kick specialist Andrea Pirlo curls a set-piece wide of the far post from 20 yards.
1906: GOAL Scotland 1-1 Italy
Italy finally breach the Scottish defence as substitute Fabio Grosso volleys home at a corner after Craig Gordon has made a superb one-handed save.
Before play restarts an exhausted Kenny Miller is replaced by Craig Beattie who is making his full international debut.
1904: News emerges from the dressing-room that Nigel Quashie is not seriously injured. He reportedly only has a dead leg and could be fit to face Norway on Wednesday.
1903: Good news for Scotland as news come through that Moldova have beaten Belarus 2-0, which means the Scots will go above them if they hang on.
1901: Luca Toni comes on for Italy with Vincenzo Iaquinta making way.
1900: Gennaro Gattuso weakly hits a wayward shot from the edge of the Scotland area after he is set up well by Vincenzo Iaquinta.
1858: Gianluca Zambrotta's cross is cleared by Andy Webster from inside the penalty area.
1857: Injured Nigel Quashie hobbles off to be replaced by Southampton team-mate Neil McCann.
1854: An incredible miss by Christian Vieri who somehow scoops the ball over from six yards after Franceso Totti capitalised on an error by Graham Alexander to present him with the chance.
1853: Kenny Miller tries to break through the Italian defence but is finally thwarted by Alessandro Nesta.
1850: Italy almost break through again but an offside flag halts their progress as Christian Vieri almost sneaks in.
Before play can restart, Mauro Camoranesi comes on to replace Daniele De Rossi.
1844: Christian Dailly is ruled out of Wednesday's match in Norway as he is booked for a foul on Francesco Totti.
1841: Francesco Totti picks up Italy's third booking of the game for a foul on Barry Ferguson.
1841: Andrea Pirlo is involved in a good build-up with Francesco Totti, who fires a shot just wide of the Scotland post.
1838: Kenny Miller goes into the referee's notebook for a foul on Gennaro Gattuso.
1835: Italy kick off the second half having made one substitution at the break with Fabio Grosso replacing Cristian Zaccardo.
1821: HALF-TIME Scotland 1-0 Italy
Kenny Miller's early goal gives Scotland the lead at the break but they survived a tremendous amount of pressure in the closing stages to keep their lead intact.
1820: David Weir makes a superb block to deflect a goalbound effort from Christian Vieri out for a corner.
1818: Three minutes will be added on to the end of the first half.
1816: In a rare Scotland attack, Darren Fletcher goes to ground inside the Italy area but the referee waves play on.
1816: David Weir clears the ball as Christian Vieri goes down in the area.
1814: Vincenzo Iaquinta cannot quite control a bouncing ball inside the Scotland area as Italy pile on the pressure and the hosts manage to hack it away.
1813: Gianluca Zambrotta wriggles free on the left of the Scotland area and crosses the ball but Craig Gordon snatches it ahead of the waiting Vincenzo Iaquinta and Christian Vieri.
1810: Christian Vieri fires the ball over the Scotland bar from close range - before realising he has been flagged offside by a very late decision from the linesman.
1809: Italy fail to make the most of a free-kick which is cleared to Andrea Pirlo on the right and his pinpoint centre is headed over by Daniele De Rossi from close range.
1807: Another yellow card - this time to Daniele De Rossi, who trips Nigel Quashie in the centre circle and in the process becomes the second Italian to rule himself out of Wednesday's trip to Belarus.
1802: Nigel Quashie receives treatment after being caught accidentally by Gennaro Gattuso in a challenge, but he is fit to continue.
1801: Paul Hartley makes a superb clearance to take the ball off the toes of Gianluca Zambrotta inside the Scotland area.
1758: Paul Hartley wins a corner for Scotland which he takes himself, but it comes to nothing.
1754: Barry Ferguson curls the ball into the Italian area but goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi confidently collects it.
1753: The first booking of the afternoon goes to Gianluca Zambrotta for a late tackle on Paul Hartley as he tries to turn. The Italian defender will now be suspended for Wednesday's game in Belarus.
1747: Francesco Totti wastes a left-wing corner and the ball floats harmlessly across the Scotland penalty area.
1745: GOAL Scotland 1-0 Italy
Hampden Park erupts as Kenny Miller powerfully heads in Paul Hartley's right-wing cross from six yards to put Scotland ahead.
1744: Kenny Miller just fails to bring a ball from Darren Fletcher under control inside the Italy area.
1741: Christian Vieri powers his way through the Scotland defence to fire in a low, awkward shot which Craig Gordon gathers comfortably.
1738: Darren Fletcher floats a right-wing cross into the Italy box but it just eludes Nigel Quashie.
1733: Scotland keeper Craig Gordon is called into action immediately to make a point-blank save from Cristian Zaccardo who stole ahead of the defence to meet a first minute free-kick.
1732: Scotland get the game under way against the group leaders.
1725: The Scotland and Italy teams walk out on to the Hampden Park pitch to a tumultuous welcome from the fans.
1700: We are half an hour away from Scotland's clash with Italy and they have been boosted by the news that goalkeeper Craig Gordon has been passed fit to play.
1652: FULL-TIME Wales 0-1 England
Joe Cole's deflected second half goal is enough to secure victory for England, who return to the top of Group Six before Poland's game with Austria tonight.
1651: FULL-TIME Northern Ireland 2-0 Azerbaijan
Northern Ireland celebrate their first competitive victory for four years as second half goals from Stuart Elliott and Warren Feeney earn the points ahead of Wednesday's game with England.
1649: Three minutes of additional time will be played in Cardiff.
1647: A Ryan Giggs corner skims off the head of substitute James Collins and runs away to safety.
1646: Wales put England under a bit of pressure as the clock ticks down towards full-time.
1643: England make their final change with Kieran Richardson taking over from Steven Gerrard.
1642: GOAL Northern Ireland 2-0 Azerbaijan
Substitute Warren Feeney surely wraps up victory for Northern Ireland as he confidently slots home a penalty to double the lead after Keith Gillespie is pulled down by Rafael Amirbekov.
1641: The ball bobbles around in the England area again and Ashley Cole has to make a superb clearance to deny Robert Earnshaw.
1640: England have to scramble the ball away from inside their penalty area after good work by Robert Earnshaw and Sam Ricketts.
1637: Wales have a free-kick outside the England area but after a long conversation with Ryan Giggs, Jason Koumas steps up and places his shot over the bar.
1634: Owen Hargreaves, who has a Welsh father and English mother, replaces Joe Cole for England to a chorus of boos.
1629: Stuart Elliott has a chance to add to Northern Ireland's lead but his close-range header goes just wide.
1627: The changes continue as Simon Davies goes off to be replaced by Robert Earnshaw, who receives a rapturous reception from the Welsh fans, and becomes Wales' final substitute of the match.
1626: England make their first substitution with Jermain Defoe coming on for Shaun Wright-Phillips. Defoe immediately takes his place up front with Wayne Rooney replacing Wright-Phillips on the right.
1623: Wales make another change with James Collins replacing 31-year-old birthday boy Robert Page at the back.
1621: Simon Davies is caught offside as he tries to run on to Ryan Giggs' free-kick from deep in the Wales half.
1617: GOAL Northern Ireland 1-0 Azerbaijan
The deadlock is also broken in Belfast as Stuart Elliott curls a brilliant 25-yard free-kick over the Azeri wall and into the top corner of the net.
1615: Wayne Rooney almost doubles the lead as he works his way into the Wales area and tries to chip Danny Coyne, but the keeper is equal to the effort and stretches well to tip it over the bar.
1612: GOAL Wales 0-1 England
Joe Cole atones for his earlier miss by firing home a shot which deflects off Danny Gabbidon to put England ahead. David Beckham and Shaun Wright-Phillips were involved in the build-up, with the Chelsea man crossing for Cole to score.
Before play restarts, Wales bring on Jason Koumas for Carl Robinson.
1608: Danny Coyne is called into action again - tipping over a first-time shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips after Steven Gerrard lays the ball back.
1607: Joe Cole fails to control a pass from David Beckham inside the Wales area and the ball trickles out of play.
1606: Northern Ireland's Chris Baird gets into a dangerous position near the byline but goalkeeper Kramarenko is able to grasp the cross.
1605: Simon Davies lifts a shot over the England bar, after a Ryan Giggs is cleared from the England penalty area, in the first action of the second half.
1603: Wales get things under way at the Millennium Stadium. There are no substitutions in either game.
1602: The action resumes in Belfast.
1547: HALF-TIME Northern Ireland 0-0 Azerbaijan
James Quinn will go into the dressing-room in disappointed mood after he has an effort ruled out and comes close on two other occasions while Steve Davis also could have scored.
1546: HALF-TIME Wales 0-0 England
The whistle blows at the Millennium Stadium and the goalkeepers are the heroes.
Paul Robinson's superb save kept out John Hartson's goalbound header while at the other end Danny Coyne's double stop denied Wayne Rooney and Shaun Wright-Phillips.
1545: One minute of additional time will be played in Cardiff.
1544: David Beckham sets up a great chance for Joe Cole with a right-wing cross but the Chelsea midfielder, who gets ahead of the defence, can only dive to head the ball wide of the near post.
1543: Frank Lampard cannot quite connect with a cross but wins a corner for England.
1539: England keeper Paul Robinson makes a brilliant save to turn away a close-range header by John Hartson which seems destined for the net.
Thirty seconds later, Hartson's frustration is compounded as he is booked for a late tackle - a caution which means he is suspended for Wales' next qualifier against Poland on Wednesday.
1536: Sloppy play by the Azeri defence gifts a glorious chance to Steve Davis but Northern Ireland's Aston Villa youngster somehow manages to pull the ball wide from close range.
1535: Wales come forward again and Ryan Giggs sends in a dangerous cross from the left but Ashley Cole bravely heads it away as he is challenged by John Hartson.
1534: As the action finally livens up in Northern Ireland's game, James Quinn connects with a Keith Gillespie cross but the ball goes just wide.
1533: In Belfast, James Quinn has the ball in the Azerbaijan net but there's no doubt that he has fouled goalkeeper Kramarenko and Northern Ireland have not taken the lead.
1531: A Ryan Giggs corner causes confusion in the England box and falls to Richard Duffy, but he can only blast it high over the bar as he falls to the ground.
1530: Ashley Cole makes a rare foray into the Wales area and gets a chance but can only turn and fire the ball comfortably wide.
1529: Ryan Giggs tries to set John Hartson free inside the England area but misplaces his pass and the chance is gone.
1526: Shaun Wright-Phillips tries his luck from distance but slips as he hits the shot and Danny Coyne can make a more routine save.
1523: Wales defender Sam Ricketts forges into the left of the England penalty area but can only put the ball past the near post.
1521: Wales keeper Danny Coyne makes a double save to keep the score goalless. A neat passing move involving Steven Gerrard sets up Wayne Rooney who is denied by the keeper, who also stops the follow-up shot from Shaun Wright-Phillips.
1518: Simon Davies almost makes the most of a mistake by Jamie Carragher as his long-range shot whizzes just past.
1516: Northern Ireland have their first serious attack when James Quinn gets on the end of a deep Keith Gillespie cross before the ball is cleared to safety.
1516: Frank Lampard has the best chance of the match so far - collecting a loose ball 25 yards out and hammering a shot just past Danny Coyne's far post.
1514: Joe Cole tries to set something up for England but Danny Coyne comfortably gathers his ball into the area ahead of the lurking Shaun Wright-Phillips.
1511: Ryan Giggs is unhappy when he is not given a free-kick after a challenge by former Manchester United team-mate David Beckham.
1507: Shaun Wright-Phillips sends in a deep cross from the right but Wales keeper Danny Coyne gathers with ease.
1502: England have a half-chance as the ball goes loose in the Wales area - but Joe Cole heads it past the far post.
1501: Northern Ireland get the action under way in Belfast.
1500: England kick off in Cardiff.
1430: The atmosphere is building up inside the Millennium Stadium for the day's big game between Wales and England. The match, and Northern Ireland's match against Azerbaijan start at 1500.
Wales name the expected line-up with Simon Davies taking his place in midfield after recovering from a shin injury.
England, as expected, name a 4-5-1 line-up with Wayne Rooney on his own up front and Frank Lampard, David Beckham and Steven Gerrard across the centre of midfield.
Northern Ireland, in the same group as England and Wales, bring in Chris Baird for Colin Murdock at the back against Azerbaijan while Tony Capaldi takes over at left wing-back for Jeff Whitley, one of two players sent home from the squad during the week.
Scotland goalkeeper Craig Gordon has been passed fit to play against Italy - enabling them to field their strongest available team.