England recorded their biggest ever win at a World Cup finals beating Panam 6-1 which also ensured their place in the round of 16.
Two penalties from Harry Kane, a John Stones double and Jesse Lingard’s wonder strike saw England take an record breaking 5-0 at half time.
Kane completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour mark to go top of the tournament’s goal chart. It is the first time England have scored more than three goals in a single match on the big stage. It’s their biggest win since they beat Denmark 3-0 in 2002.
However, the result falls four goals short of the tournament’s record, set by Hungary when they beat El Salvador 10-1 in 1982. Now on eight goals after two games, the 2018 World Cup has been their most fruitful in front of goal since 1966.
And each goal was vital for Southgate’s side as it drew them closer to Belgium. Belgium won their last game 5-2 win against Tunisia. Now level on points and goals scored and conceded, the two will battle it out for the top spot in the final game of the round on Thursday.
Kane made it five goals in first-half added time once he was awarded a penalty. The pace of scoring slowed in the second half. Kane came off in for Jamie Vardy in the 63rd minute, just after he completed the hat trick.
Panama’s Michael Murillo had a scoring chance in the 66th minute. He failed to shoot before he was tackled by goalkeeper Jordan Pickford. But it was Felipe Baloy who converted in the 78th minute. He slid unmarked into the area to meet Ricardo Avila’s free kick with his right foot. Baloy became the third-oldest player to score his first World Cup goal.
But it was nothing more than a consolation for Panama. Though, they can take some sweet memories back home after playing their first ever World Cup.
FT: England 6-1 Panama
Stones 8′, 40′ | Kane 22′ (P), 45+1′ (P), Lingard 36′ | Baloy 78′