Croatia remain two points clear at the top of Group 7 of UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying following a 4-1 victory against Norway.
Slovakia's 2-1 win against Serbia meant Dražen Ladić's side also needed to triumph to remain in the ascendancy and two goals in the final eight minutes eased them to victory. They went 2-0 up in the opening 25 minutes through Dejan Lovren and Mato Jajalo but Markus Henriksen's strike seven minutes after half-time put Norway back in contention. Lovren eased home nerves eight minutes from time, though, and Damir Kreilach added a fourth in the final minute to keep Croatia two points clear ahead of their final group game in Serbia on 4 September.
Lovren had put the home side in front with just three minutes on the clock when he headed in a corner from Antun Palić, who then laid on Jajalo for a well-taken second. Norway captain Thomas Rogne was forced off injured soon after, but the visitors dug deep and halved their arrears courtesy of Henriksen's superb finish from outside the area.
Tor Ole Skullerund's side sensed a point was there for the taking, Henriksen going close to doubling his tally, but slack defending from a corner allowed Lovren to steal in and restore the two-goal cushion. Kreilach's thunderous strike ensured the win.
"The early goal by Lovren made it easier for us and I felt like we should have been more than 2-0 up at half-time," said Ladić. "The boys were already exhausted by the heat at half-time so I'm happy that we managed to win."