Harry Kane: 'It's all coming together for England' after Panama rout

Elena Summers
June 25, 2018

In just two World Cup appearances, Tottenham striker Kane now has as many World Cup goals as Lionel Messi after backing up his double to beat Tunisia with the first World Cup hat-trick from an Englishman since Gary Lineker in 1986.

Kane scored two first-half penalties before Ruben Loftus-Cheek's second-half shot clipped his heels on its way over Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and into the net, and Southgate told reporters he was relieved to see his captain net his third.

Ahead of their meeting on Thursday to decide who tops Group G, England and Belgium are level on points, goal difference and goals scored.

Legend Geoff Hurst was the hero on that occasion, scoring a hat-trick in England's most famous triumph. "We wouldn't swap him for anyone in the tournament in terms of No. 9s", Southgate said.

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. "You go out there to win a game - the other bits are nonsense". We played some really good stuff for 35-40 minutes but then of course the second half was more hard.

England face Belgium in Kaliningrad on Thursday where victory would see them top Group G, but though finishing second could provide a more favourable route through the knockout stage, Neville urged Southgate's players to dismiss talk of the permutations and retain their focus.

It was by far the most convincing win of the World Cup so far as Gareth Southgate's side knocked six, I repeat six, past minnows Panama.

"A ball to be proud of", smiled Kane, taking the man-of-the-match award. "England is totally spectacular, a handsome team", said Panama coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who went into the English changing room at half-time to congratulate Southgate.

Brazil are on course to top Group E, while the world champions salvaged their campaign with a last-gasp win over Sweden on Saturday evening.

"You have to believe, to achieve anything you want in life you have to believe", Kane said.

"I was pleased the captain got his hat-trick because it meant he had the hump less when I brought him off!" quipped Southgate.

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