World Cup dark horses Belgium drew 2-2 with African qualifiers Ivory Coast, for whom Didier Drogba was on target, while Switzerland and Croatia also shared four goals.
Neymar’s Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi had a less impressive night for Argentina in Romania, with the match ending 0-0, while Uruguay were held 1-1 in Austria.
The Ukraine and Russia, currently involved in a tense military standoff in the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula, were both in action.
Fabio Capello’s Russia beat Armenia 2-0 in Krasnodar, while the Ukraine, who missed out on qualification, enjoyed a morale-boosting 2-0 victory over the US in a match moved from the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv to Larnaca in Cyprus due to the unrest.
First-time World Cup finalists Bosnia suffered a jolt as the lost 2-0 to Egypt in Innsbruck, Austria.
In London, Australia’s Tim Cahill scored twice to become his country’s all-time top goalscorer, although the Socceroos still squandered a 3-0 lead to lose 4-3 against Ecuador.
Meanwhile, Japan and South Korea enjoyed victories against New Zealand and Greece respectively.