Roman Pavlyuchenko struck twice in four minutes as Russia came from behind to beat England in the Group E qualifier while Ioannis Amanatidis was Greece's hero in the victory over Turkey, meaning they are assured one of the two qualifying berths from Group C.
Norway are favourites to secure the second qualifying spot in the group after winning 2-0 away to Bosnia-Herzegovina and can end Turkey's hopes with a victory when the two sides meet on November 17.
The Czech Republic also secured their progress to the finals with a stunning 3-0 win away to Germany, who were already assured of one of the two spots available from Group D after the weekend draw against Ireland.
Romania secured one of the qualifying spots from Group G thanks to a 2-0 win against Luxembourg while the Netherlands' defeat of Slovenia by the same scoreline means they too are virtually certain to qualify. The Dutch need only to beat Luxembourg at home in their next match to progress.
Co-hosts Austria and Switzerland qualify automatically.
In Group A, Portugal left it late before securing a crucial 2- 1 away win against Kazakhstan in Almaty thanks to goals from substitute Ariza Makukula and Manchester United star Cristiano Ronaldo. Dmitriy Byakov pulled one back for the home side in injury time.
The win moves Portugal on to 23 points in the group, one point adrift of leaders Poland but three clear of third-placed Serbia, who thumped Azerbaijan 6-1.
Scotland need to beat world champions Italy to ensure qualification from Group B after going down 2-0 to Georgia. Alex McLeish's side remain on 24 points, one clear of the Italians who have a game in hand - against the Faroe Islands.
France top the group on 25 points after a 2-0 home win against Lithuania and need to beat Ukraine - 5-0 winners over the Faroes - in their final match to be certain of making it to Austria and Switzerland.
Sweden sit top of Group F on 23 points after playing out a 1-1 with Northern Ireland while Denmark kept their slim qualifying hopes alive with a 3-1 defeat of Latvia.
But the shock result of the night came in Moscow which means Russia now trail England by two points, but they have a game in hand, and would expect to pull a point ahead by beating Andorra in their next qualifier.
That would leave England having to get a better result at home to Croatia than Russia achieved away to Israel in the final set of fixtures next month if they are to reach the finals in Austria and Switzerland next summer.
Wayne Rooney had given England the lead with a stunning volley after half an hour, which had Steve McClaren's dreaming of a result that would have won their qualification.
But after Steven Gerrard dragged a golden chance wide when unmarked just after half-time, Russia rallied.
Rooney gave away a 69th-minute penalty and the Spartak striker Pavlyuchenko, on his home ground, converted the resultant spot-kick. Four minutes later he was on hand to jab into an empty net after Paul Robinson had beaten away a shot from Yuri Zhirkov.
It is 14 years since England last failed to qualify for a major tournament, but elimination looms large. By Tom Merton, dpa