England booked their passage to the 2018 World Cup round of 16 after they thrashed Panama 6-1 at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Sunday.
- England 6 Panama 1
- Stones (8′, 40′) on target with two headers
- Kane (22′, 45′, 62′) bags hat-trick
- Lingard (36′) scores quality goal from range
- Baloy (78′) registers Panama’s first-ever WC goal
Gareth Southgate’s side produced a ruthless first-half display, scoring five times to blow the Los Canaleros away. John Stones and Harry Kane both scored twice while Jese Lingard also got on the scoresheet.
Kane completed his hat-trick in the second half before Felipe Baloy gave the fervent Panama supporters something to cheer about with a consolation goal.
England knew that a win against Panama would secure their place in the knockout stages after Belgium swept aside Tunisia on Saturday.
They took the lead with their first chance of the game as Stones powered home a Kieran Trippier corner in the eighth minute following poor marking from the Central Americans.
Hernan Dario Gomez’s men looked to hit back immediately and Edgar Barcenas went close with a curler from 25 yards out that went agonisingly wide of goal.
Just when they started to string a few passes together, suspect defending handed the Three Lions their first penalty on 22 minutes. Lingard was brought down in the box by Roman Torres, and Kane smashed the spot-kick into the top-left hand corner.
England were in cruise control and scored again in the 36th minute. Lingard and Raheem Sterling combined before the Manchester United midfielder curled a beautiful shot into the top-right corner of the net from 20 yards out.
They were intent on attacking and managed two more goals in the last five minutes of the half. First Stones scored with another header in the 40th minute after the Jaime Penedo had initially denied Sterling from close range, before the referee pointed to the spot once again in stoppage time after Anibal Godoy wrestled Kane to the ground inside the area.
The England captain then produced a carbon copy of his first penalty, thumping the ball into the left corner with Penedo diving the other way.
Los Canaleros emerged for the second half looking shell-shocked, and the English inflicted further embarrassment on them just past the hour mark.
Kane completed his three-goal haul albeit in somewhat fortuitous style, as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot clipped the back of his heel and looped into the back of the net.
But Panama were able to celebrate a goal of their own 12 minutes from time when 37-year-old Baloy connected with Ricardo Avila’s free-kick on the slide to register his country’s first-ever strike in the World Cup.