Northern Ireland see off Norway

Northern Ireland maintained their impressive form at Windsor Park with a 2-0 win over Norway in a World Cup Group C qualifier on Sunday.

Michael O'Neill's side got off to the perfect start when Jamie Ward opened the scoring in the second minute and Conor Washington sealed the win on 33 minutes to extend their unbeaten run on home soil to eight competitive outings.

Norn Iron are still in with a shout of qualifying for the finals in Russia next year as they remain five points behind group leaders Germany in second place, while the struggling Norwegians are down in fifth spot.

The hosts went in front with their first foray upfield when Chris Brunt played in Ward, who turned right then left before dispatching his shot into the bottom-right corner of the net after just two minutes on the clock.

After Joshua King had tested Michael McGovern in the home goal, Lars Lagerback's men almost restored parity on 27 minutes from Alexander Soderlund's strike outside the box that came back off the crossbar.

Having survived that scare, Northern Ireland doubled their lead six minutes later as Washington latched onto Steven Davis' through-ball and fired past Rune Jarstein from inside the area.

The visitors created the better chances in the second half, with McGovern called on to keep out efforts from Adama Diomande, Havard Nordtveit and King, while Niall McGinn forced a save out of Jarstein six minutes from time.