Victories over Kazakhstan (twice), Belarus, Ukraine and Andorra again followed, meaning England would qualify for the finals with two games to spare if they could beat Croatia at Wembley.
England were 2-0 up at half-time courtesy of a Frank Lampard penalty and Steven Gerrard effort. The midfielders both scored again after the break to put the result beyond doubt as England triumphed 5-1 to book their place in South Africa.
The only blot in qualifying was a 1-0 defeat in Ukraine in England's penultimate qualifying game.
England were seeded for the World Cup draw and have been joined in Group C by the United States, Slovenia and Algeria.
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