'We can go all the way' says hat-trick hero Kane

'We can go all the way' says hat-trick hero Kane

England are now top of the group, despite the two countries having the same number of points, goal difference and goals scored.

England's young and free-flowing team banished the ghost of past national failures with a record 6-1 thrashing of a feeble Panama on Sunday that included a hat-trick by Harry Kane and eased them into the last 16.

It's a sign of how much England have progressed under Gareth Southgate that they ruthlessly despatched a weak opponent, although Panama did have the consolation of scoring their first World Cup goal when 37-year-old Felipe Baloy netted late on.

Defender Jon Stones headed England in front in the eighth minute from a corner, losing his marker to angle home a header, before captain Kane made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with a penalty after Jesse Lingard was pushed over in the box by Fidel Escobar.

John Stones scored twice and Jesse Lingard was also on target for Gareth Southgate's men, who play Belgium in their final Group G contest on Thursday in a match to be broadcast on ITV.

Kane's hat-trick was completed in freaky fashion in the 62nd minute after a Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off the English captain's heel into the net. "We're a bit disappointed to concede a goal at the end".

The England striker grabbed the game ball and kept it in his grasp after scoring a hat trick in his team's 6-1 win over Panama on Sunday (Monday NZT).

As Panama were totally dismantled, the failing was addressed and then some as a place in the last-16 stage was secured in quick-fire fashion. It was plain sailing from then on.

In Russia, England has been trying to cast aside the negativity of the past while remolding the image of the team on and off the field.

22' GOAL! England 2-0 Panama - Kane arrows his penalty into the top corner to emphatically double England's lead. England caused havoc from set-pieces all game.

"We don't want to be thinking too far into things and getting caught up in all that sort of stuff".

Below are some of the talking points behind the near-flawless victory for the English squad.

There can be more talk from the training ground now - about England's hard work behind closed doors on set-pieces that has reaped a rich reward in Volgograd and now here in Nizhny Novgorod.

Kane was dragged to the deck from a corner as they employed grappling techniques UFC fighters would be proud of, but Hernan Dario Gomez's side forgot to mark Stones and the Manchester City centre-back headed home his first worldwide goal.

England were 5-0 up by the interval and Kane's third goal followed in the 62nd minute and, after that, it came as a jolt that the only other goal came off a Panama foot.

Southgate's big tactical innovation has been the three-man central defence. The Three Lions lead. "England is totally spectacular, a attractive team", said Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who went into the English changing room at halftime to congratulate Southgate. The Manchester United man is quite inexplicably, turning into a force behind Kane and the driver of their attacking quartet. "So far, it's been going my way, so hopefully that continues".

Furthermore, England have eclipsed Euro 2016's total of four goals, in one half of football.

Maybe the most frightening thing for England fans, who have supposedly learned to lower their World Cup expectations after so many disappointments, is actually true. In short, England never usually thrash minnows.

"You don't get many opportunities to play in a game like that for England".

Related Articles