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England cruise through after hammering Panama with SIX goals


England’s eagerly anticipated game against Panama saw the national side’s highest ever win in a major tournament, with a 6-1 victory over the Central American side

Gareth Southgate’s men were in dreamland after his side scored five first half goals, including a stunning strike from Jesse Lingard. It was the fifth occasion in a World Cup a side had scored five first half goals, the last team to do so was Germany in the 2014 semi-final against Brazil.

Defender John Stones opened the scoring after just eight minutes, putting away a header from Keiran Tripper’s corner.

Harry Kane’s penalty doubled England’s lead shortly after, while Lingard beautifully curled his long-range shot into the top corner.

24-year-old John Stones grabbed his second goal of the game, and captain Harry Kane claimed a hat-trick after another penalty and a second half deflection from Raheem Sterling’s shot.

Harry Kane became only the third England player to score a World Cup hat-trick, Gary Linekar managed to do so in 1986, and Sir Geoff Hurst famously netted three times in the 1966 final.

Speaking after the game, Kane did admit that his hat-trick “was one of his lucky ones”.

He said: “So proud of the boys, we’re just enjoying being here. We knew it was going to be tough, they started pretty well, but we’ve been working on the way we want to play and it’s all coming together. It was a brilliant result and fantastic to be through and to do it in this way is brilliant.”

Panama’s Felipe Baloy managed to score a consolation goal near the end of the game, but any dream of a comeback was strongly off the cards.

Sunday’s win also means that England have won their first two games in the World Cup for only the third time, doing so in 1982 and 2006.

Manager Gareth Southgate said that, despite such a high score line, he “didn’t particularly like” England’s performance against Panama.

“It’s strange because I enjoyed the win against Tunisia more – because of the tension and the fact you get over the line,” said Southgate.

“We probably at times played better the other day but today we were better in front of goal. I know how many people were watching at home on a Sunday afternoon and it’s great to give them something to cheer about.”

England will now play Belgium on Thursday 28th, to determine who will finish top of the group. Coverage starts at 6.15pm UK time on ITV – with kick-off at 7pm, and Southgate is happy with how his young side have developed throughout the competition.

He said: “Confidence-wise it was important we were able to score goals,” he said.

“We want to keep momentum, so we’ll have to think about the team we want to put out against Belgium.

“There’s an opportunity as well for players who need a match, but also we want to keep winning football matches. It’s a nice decision to make.”


Image source: BBC.

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