England captain Harry Kane on Panama hat-trick

England captain Harry Kane on Panama hat-trick

"When you are debutant at a World Cup, you enjoy your first goal so much more".

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After displaying their character to seal a last-gasp win against Tunisia, England kept a cool head to deal with Panama's rough-house tactics in sweltering Nizhny Novgorod, emphatically adding the clinical edge Southgate had called for after Monday's game.

Sure, it's a whole heck of a lot easier when the opposition's approach to set pieces seemingly involves no marking (as seen on John Stones' opener), consternation at a fairly basic routine (the give-and-go that resulted in Stones' second) and dragging down the nearest opponent to give up a penalty (as was the case with what led to Kane's two spot kicks).

John Stones, "the Barnsley Beckenbauer", scored two from set plays, Jesse Lingard notched a wonderful strike and Harry Kane bagged two emphatic penalties to put the Three Lions 5-0 up at half-time in what was easily England's best half of football in a World Cup game.

Baloy made history late on but it did not take the edge off a victory to cherish - just the third time the Three Lions had won their opening two World Cup games. And they scored again in the 36 minute. We appreciate all the support we get out here and back home.

England booked their place in the last 16 with a stunning thrashing of the Central Americans.

Kieran Trippier, again impressing at right-back, clipped a lovely ball to Lingard who was bundled to the deck by Fidel Escobar.




"We tried to play against England but there is a huge difference between our two teams".

Ashley Young and Raheem Sterling shared a couple of one-touch passes to open up the Panama defence and Sterling slipped a ball through for Lingard.

"To concede five goals in the first half, two penalties, two set-pieces, where England were very, very effective, well, what we did was try to avoid a bigger catastrophe". When his initial effort was stopped, Stones was on hand to net.

With his goal in the 78th minute, Baloy became the fourth-oldest player to score at a World Cup.

Head coach Gomez went to Southgate's dugout before a second half that started at a far calmer tempo - not that the pain would stop for Panama.

Southgate has been forced into making one change to the team which defeated Tunisia, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek coming in for the injured Dele Alli. Baloy stretched to turn in a free-kick and the strike was celebrated like a victor.

You could only be happy for him and the joy on his face when he climbed into the stands to celebrate with supporters after the final whistle.

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