MARKO ARNAUTOVIC saw his dreams of playing in next summer's World Cup end with a heartbreaking late 2-1 defeat to Sweden at the weekend.
His Austria side were denied the draw they needed to take the race for the play-offs to tomorrow's final game when Zlatan Ibrahimovic struck in the 86th minute.
Arnautovic had earlier seen his side take the lead when his cross from the left was touched on for Martin Harnik to finish well at the back post just before the half-hour mark.
Norwich City's Martin Olsson then restored parity on 56 minutes before Ibrahimovic dashed their hopes entirely with the late winner.
To compound a night to forget for Arnautovic, he was also harshly given his marching orders when Olsson's Norwich team-mate Johan Elmander went to ground following a light touching of heads between the pair deep into stoppage time.
The City forward will now be suspended for their final dead-rubber fixture against the Faroe Islands tomorrow.
Elsewhere, Asmir Begovic's Bosnia-Herzegovina continued their battle with Greece at the top of Group G when both sides earned victories on Friday.
Bosnia recorded a convincing 4-1 win over Liechtenstein whilst the Greeks edged past Slovakia 1-0.
Both sides are tied at the top on 22 points with Bosnia travelling to Lithuania and Greece hosting Liechtenstein tomorrow, although Begovic's side are in the driving seat thanks to a far superior goal difference.
Also on the edge of qualification is Wilson Palacios and his Honduras team.
Palacios played the first 58 minutes of their 1-0 home win over Costa Rica and knows that if they avoid defeat in Jamaica tomorrow then they cannot be caught by fourth-placed Mexico and will qualify automatically for the tournament in Brazil.
Geoff Cameron's already-qualified USA team defeated Jamaica 2-0 in Kansas City with the City star playing the full 90 minutes. They face Panama away in their final game.
Elsewhere in the region, Kenwyne Jones will captain Trinidad & Tobago for their home friendly with New Zealand tomorrow.
The Kiwis will play the fourth place team in the two-legged play off next month so are looking for similar opposition ahead of that showdown.
Back in Europe, Marc Wilson and Glenn Whelan both played the full 90 minutes of the Republic of Ireland's 3-0 defeat to Germany. They round off their campaign against Kazakhstan at the Aviva Stadium.
Scotland also complete their Group A fixture list by hosting Croatia and Charlie Adam is in the squad for the Hampden Park clash.
Finally, at Under-21 level, Jack Butland is set to skipper England again for their Euro 2015 qualifier against Lithuania at Portman Road.