FIFA Ballon d'Or nominee Franck Ribery led Bayern Munich to their record unbeaten Bundesliga run of 40 matches with a 7-0 away rout at Werder Bremen, while Bayer Leverkusen beat Borussia Dortmund on the road.
Brazil will start the pool as the favourites, while Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico will all be hopeful in what is, on paper, a wide-open fight for a second spot in the knockout phase.
Bayern Munich's injury list continues to grow, and coach Pep Guardiola has voiced his concerns ahead of their Bundesliga encounter with Eintracht Braunschweig.
For the last eight European teams still battling for qualification, it all comes down to this. France and Romania have most to do, but the heat is on for all the sides involved. FIFA.com previews the second legs.
European champions Bayern Munich and Manchester City both won to secure passage to the UEFA Champions League knockout stage, while Gareth Bale scored his first European goal for Real Madrid in a 2-2 draw with Juventus.
Bayern Munich equalled the record for the longest unbeaten run in the history of the Bundesliga with a 2-1 win at Hoffenheim, while Eintracht Braunschweig defeated Bayer Leverkusen.