Jorginho missed a penalty as Italy were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland, leaving both sides still with a chance of automatic qualification for Qatar from Group C.
With 15 points from seven games and the winners going through to the finals, Italy top the group on goal difference ahead of the Swiss, with Northern Ireland third on eight points after they beat Lithuania 1-0.
Italy are away to Northern Ireland in their final qualifier on Monday, while the Swiss host fourth-placed Bulgaria.
Switzerland took an early lead when Noah Okafor, making his first start for the national team, teed up full-back Silvan Widmer to fire a piledriver into the back of the net, shocking the home crowd in the 11th minute.
Italy struck back after the half-hour mark through a cleverly-worked free kick that Giovanni Di Lorenzo headed home.
They could have snatched all three points in the final minute of normal time, but Jorginho’s effort from the spot flew high over the bar as the game ended in a draw.
Group F: Scotland book play-offs with game to spare
Nathan Patterson scored his first international goal to send Scotland on their way to the World Cup qualifying play-offs.
The Rangers full-back also set up the second for Che Adams in a 2-0 victory over Moldova as Steve Clarke’s side secured second spot in Group F with a game to spare.
Adams also had two goals disallowed as Scotland delivered a positive performance in front of a noisy travelling support in Chisinau to record a fifth consecutive win.
The three points saw them open up an unassailable lead over third-placed Israel ahead of their nearest challengers’ game in Austria, and took the pressure off ahead of the final group game against group winners Denmark.
Already-qualified Denmark secured a comfortable 3-1 win over the Faroe Island but their proud run of eight World Cup Group F qualifiers without conceding a goal came to an end as Klaemint Olsen netted late on for the visitors.
Andreas Skov Olsen gave the Danes the lead in the 18th minute and Jacob Bruun Larsen came off the bench to add a second after the hour with the hosts cruising to a convincing victory.
However, Faroese substitute Olsen struck in the 89th minute to dent Denmark’s defensive record before Joakim Maehle added a third for the home side three minutes into stoppage time.
Group I: England all-but qualified
England coasted to victory over Albania as Harry Kane’s hat-trick all but secured World Cup qualification.
The Three Lions eased to a 5-0 Wembley win, meaning they need just a point away to San Marino to be sure of a place in Qatar next winter.
Poland secured a World Cup playoff spot with one game to spare after Paulo Sousa’s side beat Andorra 4-1 in Group I, thanks to a brace from striker Robert Lewandowski.
Andorra’s Ricard Fernandez received a red card only 20 seconds into the game for elbowing Kamil Glik, leaving the underdogs down to 10 men as Poland took control of the game.
Poland’s main man Lewandowski opened the scoring in the fifth minute from a Kamil Jozwiak pass, six minutes before the Derby County winger made it 2-0 after receiving a cross from Przemyslaw Frankowski.
Andorra managed to pull one back in the 45th minute when a Marc Vales free kick from the sideline beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. It was Andorra’s eighth goal in Group I, their best return in any major tournament qualifying campaign.
Poland’s Arkadiusz Milik made it 3-1 just before halftime, in his first international match since March, while Lewandowski completed the rout in the second half with his eighth strike of the campaign, heading the ball in from a Piotr Zielinski cross.
Poland have 20 points from nine games, three points behind leaders England and five points ahead of Albania with one game remaining