England beat Panama 6-1 on Sunday in their FIFA World Cup Group G preliminary round football (soccer) match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium, Nizhny Novgorod, Russia. A hat-trick from captain Harry Kane, two goals from John Stones and a screamer from Jesse Lingard completed the rout.
England’s Harry Kane scored a hat-trick converting two first half penalties and a second half goal for his fifth goal in World Cup 2018, thereby overtaking Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal) and Romelu Lukaku (Belgium) as the leading scorer. Harry Kane is the first player to score a brace in his first two World Cup appearances since Poland’s Grzegorz Lato in 1974, who went on to win the Golden Boot at that tournament.
An early goal rush saw England five up before the break.
Stones put England ahead early when he headed home Kieran Trippier’s corner in the eighth minute. The England defender was completely unmarked near the penalty spot and buried his header in the bottom left corner of Jaime Penedo’s goal.
England was 2-0 up after just 22 minutes against Panama, with Harry Kane adding a penalty to John Stones’ early goal. Kane smashed his spot-kick into the top left corner after Jesse Lingard was fouled by Panama’s Fidel Escobar.
England midfielder Jesse Lingard got the third with a sublime curling shot off the crossbar in the 36th – a 20 yard screamer. England led 2-0 when Lingard received a pass from Ashley Young on the left flank. He worked the ball toward the box before sliding a pass to Raheem Sterling. The England forward turned and then tapped the ball back to Lingard with the outside of his right boot. Lingard let the ball roll to his right foot on the give-and-go, before blasting it upper-90 into the far post netting, beating Panama keeper Jaime Penedo.
Stones got his second (40th minute) before Kane again fired in from the penalty spot in first-half injury time. Harry Kane hit the same spot in the top left corner and it’s five before the break. 5-0 England at half-time.
Harry Kane is the third Englishman to score three goals in a World Cup game, completing the hat trick with a lucky deflection in the second half to give his team a 6-0 lead over Panama in the 62nd minute.
In the 78th minute, Skipper Felipe Baloy, on his World Cup debut, scored Panama first goal in their World Cup History. There was a combination of generations, too, with Ricardo Avila’s assist allowing Baloy to finish. 6-1 England.
The second half lacked the same intensity of the first half, which is unsurprising consider the result was largely set in stone. So that goal from Panama has added a burst of additional life into the closing stages.
The England squad advanced into the round of 16 with Sunday’s triumph. It is the first time they have qualified for the knockout stage since 2010, and the biggest victory so far at this tournament. Intriguingly, it also means they are level on points, goal difference and goals scored with Belgium in Group G.
The result also confirmed Belgium’s qualification for the knockout stage and means Panama exit the tournament alongside Tunisia.
England wraps up Group G play with a match against Belgium at 2 p.m. Thursday at Kaliningrad Stadium in Kaliningrad, Russia.
A total of 32 national football teams are participating in the 2018 FIFA World Cup, held in 11 cities across Russia between June 14 and July 15.
The teams were divided into eight groups, with four in each, and the top two from their relevant groups will proceed to the next round, known as the playoffs or the knockout stage, to keep vying for the much-coveted FIFA World Cup Trophy.
Russia is holding its first time ever edition of the FIFA World Cup, which kicked off in Moscow with a spectacular opening show at the Luzhniki Stadium on the night of June 14. The World Cup is being held at 12 arenas across 11 cities with the final set to be played at Luzhniki on July 15. The 11 host cities are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.