Monday, 29 November 2021

England march into last 16 after thrashing Panama 6-1

LONDON: England’s young and free-flowing team banished the ghost of past national failures with a record 6-1 thrashing of a feeble Panama on Sunday that included a hat-trick by Harry Kane and eased them into the last 16.

England’s biggest-ever World Cup win, which included two penalties by Kane then a deflection off his heel, also guaranteed Belgium’s berth in the next round. England and Belgium have identical records ahead of their meeting next week to decide who tops the group.

It left the shell-shocked Central Americans out of their debut tournament with nine goals conceded in Group G. Tunisia were also eliminated.

Playing from the off with an ease and trickery that contrasted with the stressed-looking England flops of recent international tournaments, Gareth Southgate’s team romped into a remarkable 5-0 lead at half-time.

Defender Jon Stones headed England in front in the eighth minute from a corner, losing his marker to angle home a header, before captain Kane made it 2-0 in the 22nd minute with a penalty after Jesse Lingard was pushed over in the box by Fidel Escobar.

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