Russia secured their place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ by the narrowest of margins after conceding a last-minute equaliser against Azerbaijan.

Fabio Capello's men began the day three points clear of second-placed Portugal and needing a draw in Baku to ensure they would be on the plane to South America.

Roman Shirokov set Russia on their way after 16 minutes and a win looked even more likely when Maksim Medvedev was sent off for the home side after 73 minutes.

But Vagif Javadov's last-minute strike set nerves fluttering, although the visitors held on for the result they needed.

Russia finish the group one point ahead of Portugal, who were comfortable 3-0 winners over Luxembourg but still have to settle for a play-off spot.

The 29th-minute dismissal of Aurelien Joachim left the visitors with a mountain to climb and they could not keep out goals from Silvestre Varela (30), Nani (36) and Helder Postiga (78).