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England -6 Panama - 1


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Updated  24/06/18  
By Sports Desk:
England scored six goals in a World Cup finals match for the first time in their history as they demolished Panama 6-1 with a scintillating performance watched by 25million jubilant fans in pubs, bars and living rooms across the country.
More than two thousand travelling supporters, including the players’ wives and girlfriends, cheered in the stands as Harry Kane’s hat-trick – the first for England at the World Cup finals since 1986 – took England through to the last 16 of the World Cup on a record-breaking afternoon in Nizhny Novgorod.
John Stones’s thumping header set the Three Lions on the way to the knockout stages after just eight minutes in Russia, after Kane led the side out in temperatures reaching 86F (30C) for the Group G clash on Sunday afternoon.
Captain Kane doubled England’s lead after 22 minutes with his third goal of the tournament, blasting in a penalty after Jesse Lingard was bundled down in the area by two defenders.
Lingard’s stunning shot curled in to extend England’s dominance ten minutes before the break, before Stones scored again with a close-range header after Raheem Sterling’s effort was saved and Kane thumped home a second spot-kick, as England raced into a 5-0 lead before the break.
England were marching into the knockout stage with a game to spare as Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot deflected in off Kane to give the captain a hat-trick, as they followed their dramatic win against Tunisia with a dominant performance today.
Sales of beer, barbecues and ice cream have rocketed and the National Grid was expected to spike at half time as England fans enjoyed a lunchtime kick-off on a warm Sunday afternoon in the UK, with pubs predicting the ‘biggest ever’ Sunday drinking session.
Southgate’s team will now play off against Belgium for top spot in the group, after the 6-1 win left England and Belgium exactly tied after two matches each in Group G.
The teams’ disciplinary records would break a tie if the match is drawn. Panama and Tunisia go out of the tournament.
Around 2,500 England fans were in the stadium cheering on the team, where Kane and his team were given special medical advice on hydration to cope with the elements inside the ground, which was close to full capacity with an attendance of 43,319.
England scored early on for the second game running when John Stones met Kieran Trippier’s corner from the right-hand side and thumped his header past Panama’s keeper after eight minutes.
And the lead was doubled less than halfway through the first period when Jesse Lingard was fouled by two Panama defenders and Harry Kane smashed home from the penalty spot.
Lingard scored one of the goals of the tournament so far to extend England’s dominance after 35 minutes, curling an unstoppable shot to the keeper’s left from 25 yards out.
Stones scored a second header to give England a 4-0 lead after Raheem Sterling’s close-range effort was saved, with the referee using VAR to check there had been no offside in the build-up.
And Kane gave a euphoric England a 5-0 advantage before the break when he thumped home a second penalty after the captain himself was hauled down from a corner.
The captain completed his hat-trick on 61 minutes when a long-range shot from Loftus-Cheek deflected off Kane’s heel and flew past a wrong-footed goalkeeper.
The Egyptian referee checked for offside on the VAR system but found Kane level with the last defender and awarded the goal to complete Kane’s hat-trick, the first for England at the World Cup since Gary Lineker in 1986.
Panama’s beleaguered supporters finally had something to cheer about when the team scored their first ever goal at a World Cup, as Felipe Baloy stretched to guide in from a free kick.
BBC pundits Alan Shearer, Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand expressed their delight at England’s emphatic first-half display against Panama.
Shearer said: ‘Sparkling. It was 45 minutes of sheer brilliance from start to finish. It had everything we wanted, set pieces are working so well again.’
Former Chelsea player Lampard added: ‘We were brilliant, did everything you could have asked. Panama are not at the level you expect, but you can only dispatch what’s in front of you and England have been emphatic.’
And Ferdinand said: ‘Clinical is what we were asking for and they’ve done that and they’ve been fantastic to a man. This Panama team wouldn’t sit well in our non-league in England, they’re that bad.’
England’s 2-1 win in their opening fixture on Monday was the most-watched TV programme of the year so far, pulling in 18.3million viewers on the BBC One coverage.
A further three million watched the game online via the BBC iPlayer and BBC Sport, making it the highest ever live viewing for any BBC programme online.
The audience eclipsed that of last month’s royal wedding which attracted a peak audience of 18million on UK channels.
Banker Ed Forster, 27, from Newcastle, said: ‘We’ll smash Panama and keep going in this World Cup. Our young team is fearless.
‘It’s great to be here. England fans have been in fine voice but it’s a shame many of us didn’t bring our England shirts on police advice as we were told there could be trouble.’
Panama coach Hernan Gomez kept the same line-up that lost to Belgium in their first ever World Cup fixture, with dreadlocked Roman Torres the linchpin of a defence expecting a busy day.
The chairman of the Football Association has said he is ‘sad’ the numbers of England fans in Russia for the World Cup is lower than previous tournaments.
Greg Clarke said he had been ‘surprised’ by the open-arms welcome of the Russian people and the organisation of the tournament.
A leading football fan group, the Football Supporters’ Federation, said earlier this week the turnout for England 2-1 win over Tunisia was possibly the lowest for 30 years.
Mr Clarke said: ‘I am sad that there aren’t more English people here sharing this wonderful football festival because it has surprised me.
‘The efficiency, the welcome, just the warmth of the Russian people has really, really, impressed me. And I just wish more people had a chance to experience it first-hand.’
England’s most-watched World Cup match of all time was their semi-final against West Germany in 1990, when 25.2million people saw Bobby Robson’s team beaten on penalties.
Much of the build-up revolved around Southgate’s starting side after the publication of pictures of assistant Steve Holland’s training notes on Thursday.
England’s Group G rivals Belgium put on an impressive display on Saturday, scoring five against Tunisia to strengthen their lead at the top of the group.
Southgate’s team will face the Belgian line-up in their final group match on Thursday evening in a match which will decide who takes top spot.
Deputy British Ambassador to Russia, Lindsay Skoll, defended the Government’s travel advice from accusations of ‘scaremongering’.
The Foreign Office had warned ‘heightened’ tensions between the UK and the Kremlin in the wake of the poisoning of Russian ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury could mean supporters faced ‘anti-British sentiment or harassment’.
But Ms Skoll said: ‘I think the advice has been accurate and what I can see already in Nizhny is more than Volgograd and momentum is building on to Kaliningrad as well.’
She said she was delighted with how the tournament was going.
She said: ‘What I am delighted about is Russia is putting on a good show and the people are genuinely welcome to see people from all over the world.


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