Harry Kane leads England into World Cup 2018 knockouts

Captain Kane scores a hat-trick as England ease past hapless Panama to reach the knockout round at Russia 2018.

england panama world cup
Kane (left) became the third England player to score a hat-trick at the World Cup [Carlos Barria/Reuters]

Harry Kane struck a hat-trick as England marched into the round of 16 of the World Cup after with a record 6-1 win over a woeful Panama in their World Cup Group G match.

Sunday’s result, a record win for England in a World Cup match, means England qualify for the knockout stage with a game to spare, along with Belgium who also have six points. Tournament debutants Panama are eliminated along with Tunisia.

England were 5-0 up at halftime after taking full advantage of a poor Panamanian defence. A header from a corner by John Stones, a penalty from Kane and a beautiful strike from the edge of the box by Jesse Lingard set them on their way.

A Stones header from a well-worked free-kick routine and a second Kane penalty gave them a 5-0 lead going into the break. 

The England captain, now the tournament’s top scorer with five goals, completed his hat-trick when a shot from Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected in off the Tottenham forward in the 62nd minute.

Kane became just the third England player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup game following Geoff Hurst in the 1966 final and Gary Lineker against Poland in the 1986 tournament.

Panama pulled a goal back in the 78th minute through Felipe Baloy – the Central American nation’s first goal at a World Cup. 

Source: Reuters