Belgium will take winning form into their decisive final Nations League fixture after Michy Batshuayi scored twice to see off a stubborn Iceland 2-0 in Brussels.
While the result has little bearing on either country's finishing position, Roberto Martinez will be relieved to have avoided a second successive draw heading into the crunch clash with Switzerland, that will determine which team advances from Group 2 in League A.
Belgium already needed only a draw from that match but will still boast the mental edge of being three points clear courtesy of Batshuayi's brace.
The 25-year-old had to wait until after the hour for Eden Hazard's genius pass to help him break the deadlock before he feasted on a kind rebound to put the match to bed in Axel Witsel's 100th international appearance.
Romelu Lukaku's hamstring injury created a starting opportunity for Batshuayi, who struggled to find his range in the opening 20 minutes.
The Valencia striker, out of form at club level, first skied an intelligent low cross from Dries Mertens and guided his next chance against the outside of the near post after turning Kari Arnason.
Mertens brought an initially uneventful second half to life by testing the upright with a clever free-kick, but it Hazard always appeared most likely to make the difference.
The star playmaker conjured the killer pass to prise open Iceland in the 65th minute, bisecting the back five with a superb ball that Thomas Meunier squared for Batshuayi to tap home.
Thibaut Courtois was finally worked with 15 minutes remaining and passed the test, keeping out Albert Gudmundsson's meek finish.
That allowed Batshuayi to add the icing in the 81st minute, his second a simple follow-up following Hannes Halldorsson's fumble of substitute Hans Vanaken's shot.
What does it mean? Swiss can still get the chocolates
That an Iceland side enduring a miserable winless run managed to keep their more fancied opponents scoreless for over an hour should provide hope to Switzerland of doing likewise, even accounting for their troubling recent loss to Qatar.
The challenge for Vladimir Petkovic's team will be to ally attacking incisiveness to defensive discipline given they must score at least twice.
Hazard the headline act
Given freedom to roam, Hazard picked up the slack in Kevin De Bruyne's absence as he did almost all of Belgium's probing in the compact space between Iceland's defence and midfield, eventually delivering the splendid pass that broke the game open.
Arnason at sea
He was at times tasked with too much considering there were two central defenders either side, but Genclerbirligi man Arnason had a tough time coming to grips with Batshuayi, often engaging when he could have dropped off.
The Red Devils round out the group stage away to Switzerland on Sunday, while Iceland remain in Belgium for a friendly meeting with Qatar on Monday.
|Championship Review: Bamford fires Leeds to summit, Middlesbrough defeated by QPR|
|Curry reacts to Kings´ trolling with moon landing video|
|Wentz ruled out of Rams clash|
|Pochettino reaches 100 Premier League wins for Tottenham faster than Wenger for Arsenal|
|Real Valladolid 2 Atletico Madrid 3: Griezmann the hero on landmark appearance|
|Silva rues Richarlison´s missed chances at City|
|Gibson has no worries over Proteas batsmen|
|Wolves 2 Bournemouth 0: Jimenez and Cavaleiro score against toothless Cherries|
|Crystal Palace 1 Leicester City 0: Captain Milivojevic earns vital victory|
|Watford 3 Cardiff City 2: Hornets hang on despite late fightback|
|Tottenham 1 Burnley 0: Eriksen snatches victory at the death|
|Huddersfield Town 0 Newcastle United 1: Rondon strike settles scrap|
|Sabres suspend forward Berglund for failing to report to the team|
|Saunders thanks Fury for getting him ´back on the right track´|
|Hannover 0 Bayern Munich 4: Gnabry and Kimmich star in crushing win|
|I admire Sterling – Guardiola|
|City´s strength in depth makes it hard for me – Jesus|
|Jamieson holds slender lead in Malelane|
|Kashima Antlers 3 Guadalajara 2: Comeback win sets up Real Madrid semi-final|
|Hosszu claims fourth Hangzhou gold, Le Clos beaten by Santos|
|Manchester City 3 Everton 1: Jesus at the double as City go top|
|Parker defiant on low blow claims after ending 2018 ´with a bang´|
|Alisson: Liverpool must beat Manchester United|
|Mourinho´s brutal honesty praised by Karanka|
|Fielding inspired by Bellew after overcoming setbacks to face Canelo|
|Mourinho loves being a manager ´more than ever´|
|Khawaja unconcerned by poor start to India series|
|WATCH: Dellavedova dives into media table to rescue possession|
|Christmas form could transform Man United´s season - Rashford|
|Urgent changes needed at Manchester United – Ferdinand|
|Ishant confident as Kohli carries India into day three|
|Modric takes aim at Simeone for ´constantly undermining Real Madrid´|
|Kevin Durant provides playoffs warning to inconsistent Warriors|
|A-League Review: Janjetovic off as Wanderers suffer derby defeat|
|VanVleet turnover the ´turning point´ in Raptors loss|
|Shanahan on Mahomes no-look pass: ´I do it all the time´|
|De Bruyne and Aguero return to City bench, Sterling left out of starting XI|
|Kohli and Rahane combine to thwart Australia in Perth|
|Modric cool on Madrid future beyond current deal|
|´Fatigued´ Embiid has a lot on his shoulders - Brown|
|Crespo agrees to take charge at Banfield|
|Westbrook on Murray scuffle: He was in my way|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Van Dijk the rock on which Klopp can build a title triumph|
|Marcelo ´never´ considered Madrid exit amid Juventus links|
|Liverpool v Manchester United: Resurgent Rashford now a leader for Mourinho|
|Injury-plagued Nuggets beat Thunder to hold Western Conference lead|
|Southee takes five as Sri Lanka recover in Wellington|
|Kings troll Curry by playing clips of moon landing|
|Guardiola: Premier League title race similar to Barca-Madrid battles|
|Ovechkin joins rare NHL club with second straight hat-trick|
|Liverpool can´t be judged just on trophies – Klopp responds to Mourinho|
|Athletics´ Chapman undergoes procedure on left shoulder|
|Marcelo: Real Madrid miss Ronaldo|
|Ronaldo right about Juventus team spirit – Allegri|
|Klopp: I´m not the pope of football tactics|
|Stade beat Ospreys on emotional Chauvin tribute night|
|Ligue 1 survival bid a marathon not a sprint for Monaco, as club appoints distance runner|
|Vertonghen eyeing Spurs future beyond 2020|
|De Bruyne injuries could be a blessing for City, says Guardiola|
|Emery prepared to face Arsenal´s centre-back crisis|
|Ulster complete Scarlets double, Exeter gain Gloucester revenge|
|Sheffield United 1 West Brom 2: Baggies comeback boosts automatic promotion push|
|Del Potro back on court following knee injury|
|Canelo v Fielding: Rocky ready to write his own fairytale in New York|
|Boca part company with Schelotto after Copa Libertadores loss to River|
|Canelo v Fielding: Tale of the tape|
|Juventus defender Cancelo has knee surgery|
|Canelo v Fielding: Alvarez and Rocky make weight in New York|
|Spalletti does not fear another mid-season crisis at Inter|
|Salah headlines CAF Player of the Year shortlist as Koulibaly misses out|