Kane scores hat trick in England's rout of Panama

England’s Jordan Henderson during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

England’s Jordan Henderson during the FIFA World Cup Group G match at the Nizhny Novgorod Stadium

The Three Lions slaughtered their Central American opposition 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod, Harry Kane notching a hat-trick to rise above Romelu Lukaku and Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot.

Having only Ruben Loftus-Cheek booked may end up boosting England's hopes of topping Group G. They are level on points, goal difference and goals scored with Thursday's opponents Belgium - who would reportedly rather finish as runners-up - meaning fair- play criteria could decide the group. "To score my first goals for England was something special, especially at the World Cup".

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

They had also never before scored five first-half goals and it is only the third time in England's history, out of 24 attempts, when they have begun any major tournament by winning back-to-back matches, emulating their World Cup teams of 1982 and 2006.

Harry Kane became only the third England player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup following in the footsteps of Sir Geoff Hurst and the great Gary Lineker.

"We have to enjoy this". We'll go into the Belgium game looking to win.

Gareth Southgate's side were on course for a record-breaking victory.

"It was a different type of win to the other day (against Tunisia)", he said.

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.

In other matches, Colombia's all-time leading scorer Radamel Falcao notched his first World Cup goal in their 3-0 win over Poland.

"This victory is dedicated to Carlos Sanchez, because he's had a very hard time in the past days".

"Yes, I felt emotional", he said.

"I can't remember I've ever seen a player like this", Schmeichel added. The player was deeply affected by this matter.

Against Belgium in the dead rubber, we'll know much more about just how far Southgate's side can go. 5.

"Whether it's confirmed or not... this is extremely painful".

Japan is yet to face Poland, while Senegal still needs to play Colombia.

Bayern Munich's James Rodriguez, the star of Colombia's march to the quarter-finals four years ago, was included in the starting line-up, with Bayern Munich forward Robert Lewandowski the main threat for the European side.

If Japan and Senegal win their matches they will be through to the next round.

Sadio Mane scored first after woeful goalkeeping from Eiji Kawashima, but Takashi Inui equalised later in the first half.

As things stand, there is an argument it could be better to finish second in Group G, as doing so might help avoid some of the World Cup's biggest names, who have so far struggled to get going in Russian Federation.

Mane's coach Aliou Cisse warned the Liverpool striker to raise his performance if Senegal are to progress.

"There's going to be a lot of talk about it, but there is still a long way to go", he said.

'I went to congratulate him (Southgate) at half-time, I told him I really like his team'.

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