Nizhny Novgorod (Russia), June 24 (IANS) A hat-trick from Harry Kane helped England thrash Panama 6-1 in the World Cup Group G game here on Sunday.
The match against Panama marked England’s biggest win ever at the World Cup finals, which secured a last 16 place for the Three Lions while Harry Kane, the captain of England and the man of the match, became the first England player scoring a World Cup hat-trick since Gary Lineker in 1986, reports Xinhua news agency.
For Panama, the Central America country harvested the first World Cup finals goal in its second match.
England, playing a 3-5-2 formation, took the lead eight minutes into the match with a header from John Stones.
In the 20th minute, England’s midfielder Jesse Lingard was pushed over from behind by the Panamanian defender in the box and Tottenham Hotspur striker Kane slammed the penalty into the top left corner of the net.
The Three Lions controlled the game and had a third goal in the 36th minute as Lingard made a right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner.
Just after 4 minutes, England won a free-kick and extended the lead again. Trippier sent the ball to Jordan Henderson and he curled a delivery to the back post for Kane to nod on. The Panama goalkeeper made a fine close-range save.
However, Stones was on the spot to make a header to make it 4-0.
At the end of the first half, another penalty was awarded to England as Kane was pulled down inside the box. The captain converted the penalty with a right footed shot to the top left corner, which was almost the same as his first one.
England experienced a dream first half and won the biggest half-time lead at this World Cup in Russia.
Paces slowed down in the first 15 minutes of the second half. However, a fluke goal gave the Three Lions a bigger lead.
In the 63rd minute, Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s long-range shot hit Kane and was deflected into the Panama net.
Kane completed a World Cup hat-trick and leads the scorers standings with five goals from two matches.
The Panamanians got their consolation goal in the 78th minutes when 37-year old defender Felipe Baloy slammed a right footed shot from the centre of the box which is the Central American country’s first World Cup finals goal.
FIFA statistics showed that England made 12 attempts at the goal throughout the match, while Panama made eight. Ball possession was 58 percent for England and 42 percent for Panama.