England just destroyed Panama 6-1 in the World Cup

Clive Brunskill/Getty ImagesKieran Trippier of England challenges Eric Davis of Panama during the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
  • England destroyed Panama 6-1 in a historic World Cup victory.
  • The victory means England qualifies for the second round with a game to spare.
  • It was a dramatic first half, with the Panamanians showing some rough behaviour – but that couldn’t stop striker Harry Kane from taking two successful penalties.
  • Kane completed his hat-trick in the second half.
  • It’s the first time England has ever scored six goals in a World Cup game.

England destroyed Panama 6-1 in a dramatic World Cup Group G encounter that takes the team to the second round with a game to spare. It’s the first time England has ever scored six goals in a World Cup game.

In the heat of Russian host city Nizhny Novgorod, England took its first five goals in an astonishing first half characterised by aggressive behaviour by Panama.

Striker Harry Kane scored two penalties and a third goal with a deflection, making him the first England player to score a World Cup hat-trick since Gary Lineker in 1986. John Stones scored twice, and Jesse Lingard rounded out the numbers in the first half.

Panama’s 37-year-old defender Felipe Baloy scored his country’s only World Cup goal against England in the 75th minute.

Roman Torres Harry Maguire World Cup 2018Jan Kruger/GettyRoman Torres of Panama confronts Harry Maguire of England during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group G match between England and Panama on June 24, 2018 in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia

England will now play Belgium, which beat Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday, for the top group spot on Thursday.

England’s sparkling first-half performance, and its victory in back-to-back matches, will fuel fan confidence in the team for the rest of the tournament.

The team was undeterred by questionable tactics from Panama, with goalkeeper Jaime Penedo trying to contest Kane’s first penalty, and Anibal Godoy clinging to Kane and giving him his second. There was other rough behaviour, but Egyptian referee Ghead Grisha was strict about punishing bad behaviour in the penalty area.

The second half was calmer on both sides, despite the consolation goal from Baloy.

The outcome leaves England on the same goal difference as Belgium, and the top spot will likely be determined by fair play points.

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