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Norway beat Bulgaria thanks to Forren's first

Bulgaria 0-1 Norway
Vegard Forren scored his first international goal as the visitors moved to within two points of the top two – Croatia and Italy – in Group H.

Highlights: Bulgaria 0-1 Norway
  • Norway beat Group H rivals Bulgaria 1-0 in Sofia
  • Vegard Forren scores the winner, his first international goal
  • Norway now within two points of both Croatia and Italy
  • Per-Mathias Høgmo's team also defeated Bulgaria (2-1) on matchday three
  • Next matches: Italy v Bulgaria, Norway v Croatia (Sunday)

Norway improved their chances of a top-two finish in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H with a 1-0 victory in Bulgaria on Thursday.

Though Bulgaria's form has picked up since Ivaylo Petev took charge, they remain without a competitive home win since a 6-0 success against Malta in FIFA World Cup qualifying in March 2013. Ivelin Popov nearly set them on their way to ending that four-game run after 21 minutes, but his crafty free-kick was well saved by Ørjan Nyland. It was about as good as it got for the hosts.

Indeed it was from an equally intelligent set piece that the visitors broke the deadlock. Stefan Johansen's options looked limited from a central position 30 metres out, yet he chipped cutely over the wall and into the path of Forren, who had peeled free on the right and volleyed adroitly past Bozhidar Mitrev.

Though the home custodian subsequently got down well to deny Tom Høgli, he should have been beaten – or tested at least – for a second time on 66 minutes. Alexander Søderlund, having been picked out superbly, had a free header but failed to hit the target. His profligacy went unpunished.