Panama’s first World Cup goal eases sting of loss to England

Elena Summers
June 26, 2018

The BBC announced on Monday that 14.1m watched on BBC One - an audience share of 82.9 per cent - and there were 2.8m live stream requests across BBC online.

Having scored an injury-time victor to beat Tunisia 2-1 in their opening group game, England smashed minnows Panama 6-1 on Sunday.

Panama were on the receiving end of England's impressive World Cup victory on Sunday as they lost 6-1 during both the teams' second Group G game.

These are still early days in the campaigns of many a World Cup contender but few have seized the opportunity to set down early markers like the two qualifiers from Group G. And, the further we go in this tournament, the tighter the matches will get - and the more important they will be. Those figures do not include the audience for the build-up and post-match coverage.

The way in which they played demonstrated the distance between the two sides, with Panama resulting to manhandling England's players in the box and scything them down through the midfield in order to stem the damage.

John Stones got the ball rolling after just eight minutes, with the Manchester City left totally unmarked to head home from a corner.

It was an amateurish display by the Panamanians, who could have been beaten by a double figure margin had England not eased off in the second half. With the same number of points as Belgium and an identical number of goals scored and conceded, a solitary yellow card splits the teams on disciplinary grounds.

Considering the Three Lions have managed to put away five goals at the last two World Cups combined, Sunday afternoon's rout of Panama has sent the nation wild.

Asked if his captain could hit the heights of a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, Southgate said he had started "brilliantly" and praised him for staying mentally strong as he waited to take penalties while the Panama players argued.

It appears that England have a group of players who are individually talented, but are capable of collectively playing alongside each other.

The Liverpool skipper believes trying to plot a course dependent on which teams could be faced later in the tournament is not the way to go and is keen to keep a winning feeling among the England camp. He also has 18 for England's national team, one more than Beckham.

The big centre back contributed two goals with a pair of headers.

However, Panama refused to lay down and were rewarded with a 78th moment that will go down in history - their first World Cup goal.

With two wins already in the bag, beating Belgium in the final group stage match-up should realistically show England's belief in their current World Cup journey.

It is all so different from his last global competition when, at the European Championship in 2016, he arrived as the main goal hope of a supposedly hungry young team but from the first match looked tired and off the pace. I guess the bits in the middle were pretty good, but I'm being hyper-critical.

Jon Stones earned his first worldwide goal after heading home Kieran Trippier's early corner. Felipe Baloy scored the only goal for Panama.

"I think England are totally spectacular - a handsome team". "No-one deserved it more than him", said Jose Isabel Blandon at Rommel Fernandez Stadium.

"We must acknowledge that we didn't see a great Senegalese performance tonight in comparison to the match against Poland", he said.

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