Harry Kane hit a hat-trick as England made it through to the knockout stages of the World Cup with a resounding 6-1 win over Panama.
John Stones notched a brace and Jesse Lingard nabbed the other goal to help Gareth Southgate’s side book their place in the last-16 with a group game to spare, following Monday’s 2-1 defeat of Tunisia.
Here are five talking points from the Three Lions’ goal frenzy in Nizhny Novgorod:
- FIFA World Cup
- Group G
- Sunday 24 June 2018
- Nizhny Novgorod, Russia
Kane and co took advantage of an extremely limited Panama side to rack up their biggest win at a World Cup.
After previously registering 3-0 wins over Poland and Paraguay in 1986 and Denmark in 2002, a clinical performance brought England level with Belgium at the top of Group G.
It is the first time England have scored six goals in the finals of a major tournament.
Panama managed to hold Belgium until half-time in their opening match but they could contain England for just eight minutes before Stones stooped to head home Kieran Trippier’s corner.
It was the defender’s first goal for his country – and he nodded home his second on 40 minutes for good measure.
Kane doubled the lead from the penalty spot after Lingard was felled inside the box and the result looked beyond doubt after just 22 minutes. England were 5-0 up and out of sight at by half-time.
Kane continues to thrive with the armband on his sleeve.
With five goals, the 24-year-old is now the top scorer in Russia with his treble adding to a match-winning double against Tunisia.
He has now scored in every match as captain as well as in the last five matches in a row.
Kane is the first England player to score in the first two matches at a World Cup since Ron Flowers in 1962. He is also the first ‘Lion’ to score five goals in the World Cup group stage.
And he is the first player to score at least a brace in his first two World Cup appearances since Poland's Grzegorz Lato in 1974.
Golden Boot, anyone…?
Panama had five players booked against Belgium but that didn’t deter them from trying to disrupt the Three Lions’ rhythm at every opportunity. And their rough approach certainly cost them here.
They conceded two first-half penalties and had three more players cautioned as they struggled to live with a rampant England side.
But Felipe Baloy did give his country something to cheer by pinching a consolation goal on 78 minutes.
Top of the Pops
England and Belgium have both qualified for the last-16 with each side picking up six points from their opening two matches – but top spot in Group G is up for grabs when the pair meet on Thursday.
Conventional wisdom suggests topping the group brings with it an easier path in the knockout stages, but a number of surprise results in the other groups means nothing is certain.
However, having scored eight goals already, there will be no team more confident than England when the World Cup really begins to pick up pace.
England (3-5-2): 1 Jordan Pickford (Everton); 2 Kyle Walker (Manchester City), 5 John Stones (Manchester City), 6 Harry Maguire (Leicester City); 12 Kieran Trippier (Tottenham Hotspur), 7 Jesse Lingard (Manchester United), 8 Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), 21 Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Chelsea), 18 Ashley Young (Manchester United); 9 Harry Kane (capt; Tottenham Hotspur), 10 Raheem Sterling (Manchester City).
Substitutes: 17 Fabian Delph (Manchester City) for Lingard 64, 11 Jamie Vardy (Leicester City) for Kane 64, 3 Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur) for Trippier 70.
Substitutes not used: 4 Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), 13 Jack Butland (Stoke City), 14 Danny Welbeck (Arsenal), 15 Gary Cahill (Chelsea), 16 Phil Jones (Manchester United), 19 Marcus Rashford (Manchester United), 20 Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), 22 Trent Alexander-Arnold (Liverpool), 23 Nick Pope (Burnley).
Goals: Stones 8, 40, Kane (pen) 22, (pen) 45+1, 62, Lingard 36.
Bookings: Loftus-Cheek 23