September 06, 2015

PALERMO, Sicily (AP) Italy moved a step closer to qualifying for the 2016 European Championship after beating Bulgaria 1-0 to go top of Group H, while Norway beat Croatia 2-0 to leapfrog into second place on Sunday.

Daniele de Rossi scored with a re-taken penalty in the sixth minute for Italy after Veselin Minev had tripped Antonio Candreva. De Rossi went from hero to villain when he was sent off in the second half, along with Bulgaria forward Iliyan Mitsanski, after both committed fouls in retaliation.

Italy has 18 points, two more than Norway. Croatia is a point further back but also likely to lose a point for fan trouble pending an appeal.

Bulgaria has eight points, while Azerbaijan has six and Malta two following a 2-2 draw.

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