Spain, having been condemned to the play-offs by Serbia and Montenegro, romped to a 5-1 home win over Slovakia, who finished with 10 men after Marian Had was sent off.
Luis Garcia, the Liverpool midfielder, led the charge with a hat-trick and his Anfield club-mate Fernando Morientes added the last. Fernando Torres had made it 3-1 in the 65th minute from the penalty spot after Had was sent off for dissent.
Garcia gave Spain an early lead when he nodded in at the far post following a Xavi corner and then added a second after another assist from the Barcelona playmaker. Slovakia got back into the match when Middlesbrough's Szilard Nemeth cashed in on a defensive error to make it 2-1, but Torres restored Spain's two-goal advantage, Garcia scored his third and Morientes wrapped up the win.
The Swiss, who beat the Republic of Ireland to a place in the play-offs, produced a surprise 2-0 victory over Turkey, leaving the 2002 World Cup semi-finalists in danger of failing to qualify after their first away defeat of this tournament.
Philippe Senderos, the Arsenal centreback, set Switzerland on their way in Berne by heading home a cross by Ludovic Magnin four minutes before half-time. Then four minutes before the end Valon Behrami, who plays for Lazio, added the second to give the Swiss only their second victory over Turkey in their last eight meetings.
Two more players familiar to English fans combined to give the Czechs a perfect start to their tie in Norway. Vladimir Smicer, once of Liverpool, rounded off a sweeping move by heading a right-wing cross from Karel Poborsky, once of Manchester United, into the net after 32 minutes.
Heavy rain and two cup finals the previous weekend reduced the pitch in Oslo to a bog, which made good football difficult. Norway created few chances, most of their shots coming from long range, and in the first half only Liverpool's John Arne Riise brought a save from Chelsea's Petr Cech in the Czech goal.
Uruguay will take a 1-0 lead into the second leg of their intercontinental play-off against Australia in Montevideo. The only goal for the South Americans was scored by Dario Rodriguez in the 35th minute.
The second legs are scheduled to be played on Wednesday.Reuse content