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Records tumble as England thrash Panama 6-1

England 6 (Stones 8’, 40’; Kane 22’ pen., 45+1’ pen.; 62’, Lingard 36’)
Panama 1 (Baloy 78’)

By Natasha Prior

England has scored its biggest win in World Cup history and, at the same time, guaranteed its place in the knockout stages after a 6-1 thumping of Panama in Nizhny Novgorod Stadium.

In a match of milestones, Harry Kane scored his first hat-trick for England while Panama’s goal was its first in the country’s World Cup debut appearance.

The result sets up the clash of the unbeaten heavyweights England and Belgium to decide who will qualify for the next round as Group G winner.

It was a goal frenzy in the first half, with John Stones heading home a corner in the 8th minute to score his first international goal at senior level.

Jesse Lingard was menacing the Panama defence and in the 22nd minute, he drew a penalty when bearing down on goal.

Harry Kane stepped up to thump the spot kick into the top left corner and maintain his record of scoring in every game he has captained England.

Lingard then turned goal-scorer with a candidate for goal of the tournament when he curled a right-foot shot from outside the box beyond the full stretch of Panama keeper Jaime Penedo and into the top-right corner.

At 3-0 down, the Panamanians looked deflated and their day got worse when a well-worked set piece by England left the Panama defence chasing shadows as the ball ricocheted around the six-yard box before Stones headed in his second goal from close range.

England delivered one more blow in the first half after Kane was manhandled contesting a corner, and the captain stepped up to drive home his second in a carbon copy of his opening penalty to lead his team in to the break with an emphatic 5-0 scoreline.

The rout continued into the second half when Kane fortuitously completed his hat-trick in the 60th minute. A shot by Raheem Sterling from outside the penalty area struck Kane’s foot as he ran across the face of the goal, wrong footing Penedo in the Panama goal and deflecting into the net.

With the sting well-and-truly out of the game, Panama started to create some chances. Captain Roman Torres came agonisingly close in the 76th minute on Panama’s second corner of the game.

Moments later, substitute Felipe Baloy ran in behind the English defence on a set-piece to slide the ball into the corner of the net and, in doing so, made history for Panama by scoring the country’s first goal at a World Cup

In the final group match, Panama will play Tunisia in a battle for third place.

Harry Kane said there was no time to dwell on the record-breaking 6-1 win with top spot in Group G still up for grabs.

“We’re not getting too far ahead of ourselves. Obviously, we have a big game against Belgium coming up.”

Match Statistics

Shots (On Target)
England – 12 (7)
Panama – 8 (1)

England – 57%
Panama – 43%

England – 14
Panama – 13

England – 3
Panama – 2

Team Line-ups

England: 1 Pickford, 2 Walker, 5 Stones, 6 Maguire, 7 Lingard, 8 Henderson, 9 Kane (C), 10 Sterling, 12 Trippier, 18 Young, 21 Loftus-Cheek.
Substitutes: 3 Rose, 4 Dier, 11 Vardy, 13 Butland, 14 Welbeck, 15 Cahil, 16 P.Jones, 17 Delph, 19 Rashford, 20 Alli, 22 Alexander-Arnold, 23 Pope.

Panama: 1 Penedo, 2 Murillo, 4 Escobar (C), 6 Gomez, 7 B.Perez, 8 Barcenas, 11 Cooper, 15 Davis, 20 Godoy, 21 J.L.Rodriguez.
Substitutes: 3 Cummings, 9 G.Torres, 10 Diaz, 12 Calderon, 13 Machado, 14 Pimentel, 16 Arroyo,17 Ovalle, 18 Tejada, 19 Avila, 22 Rodriguez, 23 Baloy.

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