Norway moved above Croatia into the top two in UEFA EURO 2016 qualifying Group H after victory over Niko Kovač's side.
Jo Inge Berget made the difference in Oslo, scoring the opener after 51 minutes and creating the second with a cross-shot that was deflected in by the unfortunate Vedran Ćorluka. It has been a contrasting few days for these two teams – while Norway took maximum points from their September fixtures, Croatia gained just one, failed to score and now find themselves in third.
A sold-out Ullevaal Stadion witnessed a first half short on chances, with both sides managing one serious attempt each before the break. Central defender Vegard Forren, Norway's unlikely match winner in Sofia three days ago, came close to scoring again after 29 minutes. His shot from close range was blocked well by Danijel Subašić, who until then had been kept busy by the hosts' flurry of corners.
Croatia struggled to find their rhythm, but on the cusp of half-time Luka Modrić won a free-kick. Ivan Rakitić took it and Mario Mandžukić connected strongly with his head. However, Ørjan Nyland, at full stretch, ensured the contest would be goalless at the interval.
Croatia, and Mandžukić in particular, started the second half with renewed intent, the Juventus forward trying his luck with a header and then a bicycle kick that drew a comfortable save from Nyland. After soaking up the visitors' pressure, Norway forged ahead, a deflected effort reaching Berget at the far post. He promptly put Darijo Srna on his backside with a clever drag-back and smashed the ball past Subašić.
The same players were involved in the second. This time Berget approached Srna from outside the area, sold him a dummy and struck a low shot that took a sizeable deflection off Ćorluka on its way past the wrong-footed Subašić.
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