ENGLAND start their World Cup campaign against Italy on June 14, although the journey to get to Brazil began 21 earlier months in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau.
Here, we take a look back at how England secured their ticket by topping Group H.
Moldova 0 England 5 (07/09/12)
England launched their World Cup qualifying campaign with a five-star performance in Moldova, recording their biggest away win since 1993. Frank Lampard's brace was complemented by efforts from Jermain Defoe, James Milner and Leighton Baines in Chisinau.
England 1 Ukraine 1 (11/09/12)
Skipper Steven Gerrard was sent off as Lampard's 86th-minute penalty spared England's blushes at Wembley. The Liverpool captain was red-carded two minutes from the end of a poor display from Roy Hodgson's men, who were saved when Yevhen Khacherdi blocked Danny Welbeck's flick with his arm, allowing Lampard to drive home from the spot.
England 5 San Marino 0 (12/10/12)
Wayne Rooney scored twice in front of a healthy 84,654 crowd, taking him to 31 international goals - one more than Alan Shearer, Nat Lofthouse and Tom Finney. Manchester United team-mate Welbeck also bagged a brace before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain become England's fourth youngest goalscorer.
Poland 1 England 1 (17/10/12)
After a waterlogged pitch caused the original game to be postponed, the qualifier got under way 20 hours late in Warsaw. England were well below their best but managed to cling onto a precious point, with Rooney's first-half goal cancelled out by a Kamil Glik header midway through the second period.
San Marino 0 England 8 (22/03/13)
Hodgson's men recorded their biggest win since 1987, with Defoe netting twice to head a lengthy list of scorers that also included an own goal, Lampard, Rooney, Oxlade-Chamberlin, Ashley Young and substitute Daniel Sturridge.
Montenegro 1 England 1 (26/03/13)
England survived a second-half battering to snatch a precious point against group leaders Montenegro in Podgorica. Hodgson's side were the better side in the opening 45 minutes and deserved their lead through Rooney's 35th goal for his country, but the hosts were transformed in the second half and equalised through substitute Dejan Damjanovic.
England 4 Moldova 0 (06/09/13)
Hodgson was left raging despite England going to of Group H as a yellow card for two-goal hero Welbeck ruled him out of the crucial qualifier in Ukraine. The Manchester United man was booked for protesting against a tight line-call against him on a night in which Rickie Lambert and Gerrard also got on the scoresheet.
Ukraine 0 England 0 (10/09/13)
England took a small step towards World Cup qualification after they scraped a draw in Kiev thanks to Ukraine's profligacy. Amid a booming atmosphere inside the Olympic Stadium, the hosts launched attack after attack, but they could not find their way past Joe Hart despite creating a number of chances.
England 4 Montenegro 1 (11/10/13)
Hodgson gambled on winger Andros Townsend by giving him his debut and he did not disappoint, as he put the seal on the win at Wembley with a 25-yard strike which flew in off a post. Branko Boskovic scored an own goal, Sturridge converted a penalty and Rooney was also on the scoresheet while Damjanovic notched for the visitors.
England 2 Poland 0 (15/10/13)
England booked their ticket to Rio after edging past Poland in a nail-biting and thrilling encounter at Wembley.
The 18,000-plus Poland fans inside the stadium made it feel anything like home for Hodgson's men, who huffed and puffed but could not find a way past Wojciech Szczesny until the 41st minute when Rooney finally broke the deadlock.
The England supporters were left to bite their nails for most of the second half, but captain Gerrard made sure of the win two minutes from time.