Panama manager's post-match comments are music to England fans' ears


The Tottenham Hotspur striker admits Sunday's treble was one of the more fortunate of his career so far, with two first-half penalties supplemented by a ricochet off his heel from Ruben Loftus-Cheek's shot in the second half.

With the knockout rounds on the horizon, England have brought in psychologist Dr Pippa Grange to help the players cope with the demands of the World Cup, and Trippier is seeing the benefit.

England scored seven in both 1986 and 1998 and six on three other occasions, including both 2002 and 2006, but the Panama game alone brought more goals than England's last two World Cups combined - three in 2010 and two in Brazil four years ago.

The quality of the opposition must of course be considered - Tunisia and especially Panama have shown little defensive resistance - but Gareth Southgate's side are playing with confidence and in Kane, they have one of the world's best finishers. John Stones gave them the lead with a powerful and well-placed header, meaning all three of their goals in the tournament up until that point had come from corners. He admitted feeling at home in England's new formation, while being happy to contribute from set pieces.

Midfielder Jesse Lingard suffered some brutal treatment at the hands of Panama and no doubt emerged with a series of souvenirs.

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England and Belgium will meet in the last match for the Group G leadership.

"We tried to play against England but there is a huge difference between our two teams".

Group H is still up in the air after Colombia lost to Japan and Poland went down to Senegal in the opening games, so England and Belgium will just have to wait and see in any case after sealing qualification with two wins apiece.

The runner-up of England's group will play the victor of Group H, while the victor of Group G will take on the runner-up of Group H. And with the goals flying in and records being broken, there are reasons to be optimistic for this England team.

Former England forward Darren Bent says England's "ruthless" performance against Panama was a step up on their opening win at the World Cup. Why not keep on dreaming?