Players of England celebrate the opening goal during the FIFA World Cup 2018 group G preliminary round soccer match between England and Panama in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia, 24 June 2018.
Sunday Jun 24, 2018. 16:31
England secured their place in the knockout stages of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in emphatic fashion with a 6-1 thumping of Panama in a Group G match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium on Sunday.
It was the worst possible start for Panama who conceded after only eight minutes when John Stones headed home a corner-kick from 12-yards out, 1-0.
Matters went from bad to worse for the North Americans who gave away a penalty in the 20th minute after Jesse Lingard was brought down inside the box by Fidel Escobar.
Captain Harry Kane stepped up for England and made no mistake from the spot-kick, 2-0.
The contest was over by the 35th minute when the Europeans found the back of the net for a third time following a 22-yard effort from Lingard which found the top corner, 3-0.
Five minutes before the break England added a fourth goal when Stones headed home from close range after a well-worked free-kick, 4-0.
The nightmare continued for Panama who conceded a second penalty in the 43rd minute after Kane was pulled down at a corner by Anibal Godoy.
Kane stepped up for the second time and, much like his first goal, he fired the spot-kick into the roof of the net, 5-0.
The next goal of the match only came in the 62nd minute, and a but fortuitously so, when a long range shot from Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off Kane and found its way into the net, 6-0.
Panama threw players forward in search of some consolation after conceding their sixth goal and they did manage to find some in the 78th minute when Felipe Baloy turned home a left-sided free-kick from 12-yards out, 6-1.
Panama continued to press forward after that, but England stood firm to pick up an impressive win while the loss for the North Americans sees them unable to make the knockout stages of the competition.
England (5) 6 (Stones 8’ + 40’, Kane 22’ pen, 45’ pen + 62’, Lingard 36’)
Panama (0) 1 (Baloy 78’)
England: Jordan Pickford; Kyle Walker, John Stones, Harry Maguire; Kieran Trippier, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Jordan Henderson, Jesse Lingard, Ashley Young; Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane.
Panama: Jaime Penedo; Roman Torres, Fidel Escobar, Michael Murillo, Eric Davis; Gabriel Gomez, Anibal Godoy, Armando Cooper, Edgar Barcenas, Jose Luis Rodriguez; Blas Perez.