Robert Lewandowski scored the first goal as Poland beat Sweden 2-0 ©Getty Images

Poland defeated Sweden 2-0 to earn their place at the FIFA World Cup later this year, while Portugal also booked passage to Qatar with a victory over North Macedonia by the same scoreline.

The Poles had benefitted from Russia being expelled from World Cup qualification in response to the invasion of Ukraine, as it meant they received a bye to the final of Path B.

Path B matches were also moved from Russia to Poland.

Whereas Sweden played for 120 minutes versus the Czech Republic on Thursday (March 24), Poland were better rested and made six changes from the side which had taken on Scotland in a friendly.

Talisman Robert Lewandowski was among the new faces at Stadion Śląski and opened the scoring from the penalty spot, deceiving Swedish goalkeeper Robin Olsen and rolling the ball into the unguarded side of the net.

Jesper Karlström had been penalised after a coming together with Grzegorz Krychowiak.

Piotr Zieliński doubled Poland's lead when he capitalised on loose defending to race through on goal and beat Olsen at the near post.

Over in Porto's Estádio do Dragão, Portugal also made home advantage count.

A Bruno Fernandes brace - both assured, side-footed finishes - set up a 2-0 win.

North Macedonia had eliminated European champions Italy last time out, but there was to be no giant-killing repeat.

Portugal have now qualified for six World Cups in a row, while Poland are also set to make back-to-back appearances. 

A Bruno Fernandes brace fired Portugal to the World Cup ©Getty Images
A Bruno Fernandes brace fired Portugal to the World Cup ©Getty Images

One more European team is due to qualify in June.

Because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the latter's match versus Scotland was postponed. 

They are now scheduled to play in June, with Wales awaiting the winner.

Twelve European teams in all have now booked their places at the World Cup in Qatar in November and December.

Reigning champions France, Serbia, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Denmark, England, Croatia, The Netherlands and Germany all progressed as group winners.