England surpass class of 1966 in Panama rout

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The national team won 6-1 in Russian Federation earlier today, with a hat trick from Harry Kane, two goals from John Stones, and another from Jesse Lingard.

Current World Cup top scorer on five goals after two games, Kane was then substituted for Jaime Vardy up front, to a standing ovation from the almost 2,500 England fans at Nizhny Novgorod.

The in-form Tottenham striker bagged his third after a 61st-minute shot by Ruben Loftus-Cheek hit his foot and bounced over despairing Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

Kane's treble and two goals from John Stones, with Jesse Lingard also on the scoresheet, meant England joined Belgium on six points at the top of Group G ahead of the match between the two teams on Thursday.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku are in second place with four goals each.

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 at the tournament in terms of number nines".

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On the prospect of winning the Golden Boot, Kane said: "There's still a long way to go". It's nice it's a game where we're not up to our neck in pressure. "He's not just a player that stands up front and waits for chances and that's important within the ethic of the team we're trying to create".

The next tiebreaker is fair play - i.e. the amount of yellow and red cards accumulated by a team throughout the group stage.

Kane said: "I'm very proud".

"To score my first goals for England was something special, especially at a World Cup", Stones said. "We knew it was going to be tough and they started pretty well but we've been working on our set-pieces, we've been working on the way we want to play and it's all coming together".

They will then go on to the quarter-finals, where they will play either the runner-up or victor of Group H, depending on where they finish.

For England fans, the pain of being knocked out by Iceland in the 2016 Euros and a winless first-round exit at the 2014 World Cup, was finally slipping away.

"It's unusual because I enjoyed the win against Tunisia more - because of the tension and the fact you get over the line", said Southgate.

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