England are World Cup-bound after beating Poland, 2-0, on Tuesday to clinch Group H. With their place secured, they can begin preparation for next summer's tournament, where they are not expected to get a seed and will have a steep uphill climb if they want to really challenge for a semifinal place, let alone the tournament title.
Despite struggling at times and not being able to separate themselves from the Ukraine in the table, England got the results they needed when it mattered to avoid having to enter the playoff round. Not losing a single game during qualifying made the difference for England with the Ukraine's lone loss against Montenegro giving Roy Hodgson's side the advantage they needed.
This is England fifth straight World Cup appearance since they failed to qualify in 1994. The won their lone title in 1966, the one and only time the tournament was held in England.