England thrashed Panama 6-1, setting up a great finale to the group when they face Belgium on Thursday.
Harry Kane scored a hat-trick and the other goals came from John Stones (2) and Jesse Lingard.
Stones opened the scoring in the 9th minute when he was left unmarked to head home a Kieran Tripper corner.
It was two just 10 minutes later when Harry Kane blasted home a penalty in emphatic fashion after Lingard was tripped in the area.
5 – Harry Kane is the current leading scorer at the 2018 World Cup with five goals, scoring with all five of his shots on target in the tournament. Midas. #ENGPAN #ENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/xcOEEoWOE0
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2018
Lingard had been on the receiving end of the rough treatment from the Central Americans, and got his revenge with a sublime finish after linking up with Raheem Sterling. Stones then grabbed his second after following up Sterling’s effort that was stopped on the line.
The physical approach didn’t end from the Panama team and when both Stones and Kane were wrestled to the ground inside the area, the referee had no option but to point to the spot. Kane put the ball down and put the ball in the same top corner as his first effort, making the score 5-0 at half-time.
With the showdown against Belgium on their minds, England took the foot off the gas in the second half. A Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot was deflected in off Kane’s heel to give the Tottenham Hotspur striker his hat-trick.
Harry Kane is the first player to score 5+ goals in his first two #WorldCup games since Just Fontaine in 1958.
Fontaine went on to score 13 that year, the most ever in a single World Cup. pic.twitter.com/GDyu3pH0mJ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 24, 2018
Felipe Baloy got a consolation goal in the late stages of the game, but Panama join Tunisia in being eliminated from the group; both will face each other for third place in the group at the same time as Belgium vs England on Thursday. Bothe England and Belgium are on six points with the same goal difference therefore, should they draw then the team with less cards will progress to the last 16 as group leaders.