Match ends, Northern Ireland 2, Norway 0.
World Cup 2018: Northern Ireland 2-0 Norway
Northern Ireland remain on course for a World Cup play-off spot thanks to an impressive qualifier win over Norway.
Jamie Ward's strike put the hosts in front inside two minutes and Steven Davis set up Conor Washington to fire in the second on 33 at Windsor Park.
Alexander Soderlund hit the crossbar in the first half but it was a disappointing start to Lars Lagerback's managerial reign with the Norwegians.
Northern Ireland are two points clear of third-placed Czech Republic.
World champions Germany beat Azerbaijan 4-1 in Baku on Sunday to remain five points ahead of Michael O'Neill's side in Group C.
The Czechs earned a 6-0 win over bottom-placed San Marino on Sunday, with Azerbaijan a further point back and the Norwegians surely out of contention 12 off the pace following their defeat at Windsor Park.
Ward's early strike stuns Norwegians
Ward's strike gave Northern Ireland the perfect start as the Nottingham Forest striker justified his return to the starting line-up by arrowing in his shot from 20 yards.
It set the tone for a dominant first-half display from O'Neill's team although Norway provided a rare threat when Soderlund's dipping volley crashed off the woodwork.
The lead was doubled on 33 minutes with a pinpoint through-ball from skipper Davis sending Washington clear and the striker slotted in from 10 yards.
Norway improved after the interval but they struggled to carve out clear-cut openings.
Northern Ireland keeper Michael McGovern did make a good save to keep out a long-range Havard Nordtveit free-kick but it was mostly huff and puff stuff from the visitors.
Michael the magician
Michael O'Neill's first game in charge of Northern Ireland was a 3-0 defeat by Norway in February 2012. How times have changed.
Fresh from guiding his team to the Euro 2016 finals, he has fashioned a superbly drilled unit boasting relentless energy and confidence.
O'Neill made four changes from the 4-0 win over Azerbaijan in November, with a new strikeforce of Ward and Queen's Park Rangers forward Washington while Craig Cathcart's return saw a switch to a back three.
Despite a new system and forward line there was a fluency in Northern Ireland's play and O'Neill has instilled a work ethic in the players exhibited by constant pressing of the opposition.
Northern Ireland fans will hope their manager will remain at the helm and take them to the finals in 2018, but O'Neill is increasingly catching the eye of ambitious clubs in England and Scotland.
Man of the match - Steven Davis
Another majestic performance from the Northern Ireland skipper, who makes the game look so simple as the heartbeat of the team.
His through-ball to Washington for the second goal was a highlight in a display of calmness and class.
The 32-year-old Southampton midfielder was always available, always in the right place and led by example.
Northern Ireland are next in qualifier action in Azerbaijan on 10 June.
O'Neill's side have a home friendly against New Zealand eight days prior to the Baku contest.
- 14DallasBooked at 43minsSubstituted forLundat 88'minutes
- 19WardSubstituted forMcGinnat 80'minutes
- 9WashingtonSubstituted forLaffertyat 85'minutes
- 6NordtveitBooked at 44mins
- 8JohansenSubstituted forBergeat 75'minutes
- 11ElyounoussiSubstituted forMøller Dæhliat 53'minutes
- 9SøderlundSubstituted forDiomandeat 63'minutes
- 15Møller Dæhli
- 21Semb Berge
- Hüseyin Göçek
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Northern Ireland 2, Norway 0.
Attempt blocked. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Matthew Lund.
Jørgen Skjelvik (Norway) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Dangerous play by Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland).
Foul by Even Hovland (Norway).
Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Northern Ireland. Matthew Lund replaces Stuart Dallas.
Substitution, Northern Ireland. Kyle Lafferty replaces Conor Washington.
Attempt saved. Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Offside, Norway. Even Hovland tries a through ball, but Mats Møller Dæhli is caught offside.
Substitution, Northern Ireland. Niall McGinn replaces Jamie Ward.
Attempt saved. Joshua King (Norway) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Håvard Nordtveit.
Foul by Adama Diomande (Norway).
Michael McGovern (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Norway. Conceded by Michael McGovern.
Attempt saved. Håvard Nordtveit (Norway) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.
Sander Berge (Norway) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).
Substitution, Norway. Sander Berge replaces Stefan Johansen.