Harry Kane now top scorer, sets new record against Panama

Credit PA

A hat-trick from captain Harry Kane - which means he is now the leading scorer in the tournament with five goals - two from John Stones, his first ever in an England shirt, and a beauty from Jesse Lingard completed the crushing victory.

England's Harry Kane rocketed to the top of the 2018 World Cup goalscoring charts on Sunday, netting a hat-trick against Panama to overtake Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku. Incidentally, he is the first player to have scored a brace and a hattrick in his two consecutive world cup outings, after Gary Lineker in 1985 World Cup finals. It also eliminated Tunisia.

Kane's hat-trick was completed in freakish fashion in the 62nd minute after a Ruben Loftus-Cheek deflected off the English captain's heel into the net.

Given that a second-place finish could give England an easier run to the final, don't be surprised to see Gareth Southgate's side leaving a few late tackles on Belgium's players during Thursday evening's match.

In two games, he has scored all five of his shots.

"We wouldn't swap him for anyone at the tournament in terms of number nines". We had fun out there as well, which is important.

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Asked if Kane was displaying the levels of Ronaldo and Lionel Messi, Southgate replied: "Clearly the stage to do that is this one".

Panama's equal-sized army of red-shirted fans danced and cheered on the "Canaleros" (Canalmen) to the end.

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

Wayne Rooney stands alone with the global goalscoring record after he netted 53 times throughout his worldwide career, but already the 24-year-old has 18 and is eyeing the record.

Substitute Felipe Baloy rewarded them with a consolation goal in the 78th minute, sliding home a free kick that was Panama's first goal in their debut World Cup.

Southgate's task now will be to keep his young charges' feet on the ground, and guard against complacency whomever they face next from Group H's quartet of Japan, Senegal, Poland and Colombia. England were dominant throughout, breaking through Panama's defence easily.

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