Kyle Lafferty’s last-gasp equaliser rescued a crucial point for Northern Ireland as they drew 1-1 with Hungary at Windsor Park.
On a night where a win would’ve sealed qualification, Michael O’Neill’s men looked to be heading to defeat after Richard Guzmics’ goal was followed by two yellow cards in the space of seven seconds for Chris Baird.
But with seconds left, Lafferty smashed home his seventh goal of the qualification campaign to keep his side top of Group F, a point above Romania, with drew 0-0 with Greece, and four above Hungary.
Two points from their remaining two matches, against Greece and Finland, will seal their passage to Euro 2016 and first major tournament since 1986.
At Hampden Park, Scotland were just as spirited in their performance but they fell to a damaging 3-2 defeat against world champions Germany.
A Thomas Muller brace for the visitors and a Mats Hummels own goal and James McArthur’s fine finish saw the scores level at half time.
But Ilkay Gundogan slotted home the winner for the Group D table toppers nine minutes after the restart.
Republic of Ireland took full advantage of the Scots’ slip up as they defeated Georgia 1-0 at the Aviva Stadium.
Jon Walters’ second half goal was enough to take Martin O’Neill’s men four points clear of fourth placed Scotland in the play-off spot, and keep them within two points of second placed Poland, who defeated Gibraltar 8-1.
Elsewhere, Miguel Veloso’s injury time winner saw Portugal snatch a 1-0 win in Albania to keep them on course for qualification from Group I as second placed Denmark could only draw 0-0 away to Armenia.
And back in Group F, Joel Pohjanpalo’s first half goal gave Finland a much needed 1-0 victory over the Faroe Islands to take them within three points of Hungary in the play-off spot.
Player of the Night: Thomas Muller
Team of the Night: Northern IrelandGoal of the Night: Jake Gosling (Gibraltar)