Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Captain Kane delivers for England on big stage

"It's unbelievable, I'm extremely proud. We tried to keep the ball more in the second half and play in a more orderly fashion".

England face Belgium in the final Group G match on Thursday night (1am Friday, Thailand time). It also eliminated Tunisia.

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

Gary Neville piled praise on Harry Kane after his hat-trick against Panama and believes his "world-class" credentials means England fans are right to get excited.

Lingard made it 3-0 in the 36th minute with a lovely strike from just outside the area before Stones nodded in his second and England's fourth from a cleverly worked free-kick routine. Kane and Fontaine are two of just three players to have achieved this feat - Hungary's Sandor Kocsis scored seven goals in the first two matches for his team at the 1954 World Cup.

Former England global Gary Neville has lavished praise on striker Harry Kane after his hat-trick in the World Cup on Sunday.

In two games, he has scored all five of his shots. "We have some decisions to make because the harmony of the group is important to me".

"We wouldn't swap him for anyone at the tournament in terms of number nines".

Substitute Felipe Baloy got a consolation goal for Panama on 78 minutes and Southgate noted how the concession could hold significance when it comes to top spot in the group.

The English sang "football's coming home" in response to Panama's "ole, ole, ole".

With Kane still only 24, the 6ft 2inch striker can get even better and boasts all the ingredients needed to go on and become the world's best striker and a potential Balon d'Or victor.

"It could have been an even bigger score".

'I don't want to go back to England in July with a losing feeling.

The pedestrianised street near the city's Kremlin was also packed with Russians enjoying a regular night out and families who came to soak up the World Cup fever.

Despite the result, England started slowly and it was Panama who should have scored first in the fifth minute when Anibal Godoy blasted high and wide after the Central Americans carved open England's defence.

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