England came up against a Panama side that stood in between the Three Lions and a valuable three points to ensure the English qualify for the Round of 16.
Panama came into the game having lost their first group stage encounter against Belgium 3-0. England on the other hand had just edged out a win against a persevering Tunisia side that gave the Brits a scare.
A loss in this game would see Panama’s World Cup adventure being limited to the group stage, and that’s exactly what happened.
England started off strong and proved that they intended on dominating the game through all aspects in the field and they pressed high upfield, mounting pressure on Los Canaleros.
Six minutes in, Jesse Lingard had an injury scare after a collision with Gabriel Gomez, but after mandatory and thorough checks, the England no 7 was given the thumbs up to continue.
Two minutes later, England earned a set piece free kick, of which was whipped into the box where defender John Stones’ header found the back of the net to put England ahead 1-0.
Needing at least a point to keep their hopes alive, Panama weren’t getting the start they wanted after being denied in their surges going forward before seeing Armando Cooper get booked, ruling him out for the game against Tunisia.
Lingard was then, in the 20th minute, fouled inside the box where a penalty was awarded to England after being judged to have been in on goal.
Harry Kane got his first of the game and third of the tournament so far as he bolted an effort into the top corner.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek was booked for a foul after being over eager to win possession back for England, but this didn’t concern England as they kept powering forward, creating chances and looking to further get the better of their opponents.
Jesse Lingard claimed a fabulous goal after a curling effort was placed into the top right corner from a shot outside the box to give England their third after 36 minutes following some brilliant link-up play with Raheem Sterling.
Four minutes later, defender John Stones got his second of the game after slipping the ball in from just less than a yard out after Goalkeeper Penedo’s save.
England at this point look unstoppable with it being the first time England have scored four goals in a World Cup since their Finals win in 1966.
England were then awarded a second penalty after Captain Kane was fouled by Panama’s Godoy inside the box, of which he converted to add yet another goal to his tally which now equalled Ronaldo’s four goals.
Kane however, then edged ahead of Ronaldo with five goals in two after a fortunate deflection gave England their sixth and only goal in the second half and earned the English Captain his hat-trick.
Panama had something to cheer following a set piece that set up 37-year old Felipe Baloy to header in Panama’s first World Cup goal in history which saw the Panama faithful go wild despite losing 6-1.
Baloy, the oldest squad member and holder of the Captain’s armband has been playing what is suggested to be his last World Cup adventure, which saw him off in fine fashion.
The win saw the Three Lions secure their round of 16 spot and with top spot honours in Group G to play for on Thursday against Belgium.
Tunisia and Panama’s encounter on the other hand will be a feisty affair to see who can claim the 3rd spot and end their campaign on a high.