World Cup rout for England over Panama

Gareth Southgate

Gareth Southgate

At least 5,000 more fans will board flights this week as "World Cup fever" takes over after the England team thrashed Panama 6-1 today.

Kane netted two unstoppable first-half penalties before a fortuitous third in the second period to become the first man since former Barcelona and Spurs striker Gary Lineker in 1986 to score a World Cup hattrick.

England look certain to qualify for the last 16 along with Belgium, whom they face in their final Group G fixture on Thursday. Not many players get to score a hat-trick in the World Cup.

"We wouldn't swap him for anyone at the tournament in terms of number nines".

Wayne Rooney stands alone with the global goalscoring record after he netted 53 times throughout his worldwide career, but already the 24-year-old has 18 and is eyeing the record.

Defender Yerry Mina opened the scoring in the 40th minute with captain Radamel Falcao and winger Juan Cuadrado sealing a deserved victory with two goals in five minutes as the desperate Poles chased the game in the last quarter.

England manager Gareth Southgate has heaped praise on the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup infrastructure and stadiums and admits he and his team have "been really looked after" in the country.

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"He's up at the top (of the list of great players)".

It's a World Cup and everyone is fighting for their lives.

The next tiebreaker is fair play - i.e. the amount of yellow and red cards accumulated by a team throughout the group stage. We knew there was going to be more goals and we showed that confidence to go and get them.

But Southgate said: "We would want to keep momentum and keep progressing as a team". Panama paid the price for their petulant immaturity as the Three Lions ran riot and scored with what felt like every scoring opportunity they had before half-time - indeed, their first three shots on targets were all goals.

The Group A winners will play the Group B runner-up, after which Group B winners will play Group A's second place finisher.

Things finally appear to be looking up for an England side who were humiliated by Iceland at Euro 2016 and eliminated with a game to spare at the 2014 World Cup.

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