Schmeichel on England hat-trick hero RT Exclusive

England's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring one of his three goals in a 6-1 rout of Panama

England's Harry Kane celebrates after scoring one of his three goals in a 6-1 rout of Panama

Current World Cup top scorer on five goals after two games, Kane was then substituted for Jaime Vardy up front, to a standing ovation from the almost 2,500 England fans at Nizhny Novgorod. John Stones found the back of the net as early as the eighth minute with a handsome header from a corner kick.

England were 5-0 up by the interval and Kane's third goal followed in the 62nd minute and, after that, it came as a jolt that the only other goal came off a Panama foot. Now, as then, it came from Kieran Trippier's right-wing corner.

John Stones benefited from England's set-pieces with two goals from first half corners. The referee chose Anibal Godoy's abrasive foul on Harry Kane as justification for the spot kick. However, England were soon back in command and doubled their advantage from the penalty spot, Kane ruthlessly netting after Lingard was flattened by the converging Fidel Escobar and Roman Torres. As the game progresses, England mid-fielder Jesse Lingard made it happen again for England taking a flawless shot giving no chance to the Panama keeper.

Kane then scored his second penalty in first-half injury time after he was nearly farcically wrestled over at a corner, despite further Panama complaints.

Head coach Gomez went to Southgate's dugout before a second half that started at a far calmer tempo - not that the pain would stop for Panama.

Southgate was far from thrilled with his side's all-round performance though, noting a sloppy beginning and ultimately conceding being the main negatives.

The draw keeps both teams at the top of Group H ahead of their final matches. Five talking points from the clash 1.

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South Korea's cause won't be helped by the loss of skipper Ki Sung-yeung to injury, and full-back Park Joo-ho is still sidelined. If South Korea beats the four-time world champions, and Sweden loses to Mexico, the squad could make it to the round of 16.

Southgate joked that part of the reason he was pleased with Kane's hat-trick was that it meant the captain would be less annoyed when he was taken off the pitch during the game.

His penalties were both ruthlessly fired into the roof of the net. When his initial effort was stopped, Stones was on hand to net. Lingard has fast become first choice in 2018.

'But as important in that is the way he sacrifices himself for the team in the way he presses, holds the ball up, contributes to the overall game.

Kane completed his hat-trick shortly after the hour mark to go top of the tournament's goal chart and make Felipe Baloy's late consolation nothing to worry about as the Three Lions eased into the last 16. Yes, Panama were 6-0 down but they never gave up and that goal will go down in the nation's history. "We tried to keep the ball more in the second half and play in a more orderly fashion". But in that, he had already scored a hat-trick that catapulted him to the top of the goals scored table in Russian Federation 2018.

That's six of eight goals (75%) from England in Russian Federation coming from set-piece routines thus far. 4. So says Martin O'Neill, you know, the manager of a national team now not at the tournament having failed to qualify.

With the Red Devils strength in depth, he will know that this will be their first real test against a fellow contender and an important one for his fringe players should he opt for wholescale changes.

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