England 6 Panama 1 - Ruthless Three Lions a class above

England celebrate their comfortable win over Panama

England captain Harry Kane (at left) celebrating his second goal - a penalty in first-half stoppage time - in their 6-1 Group G win over Panama yesterday.

Kane has scored a tournament-leading five goals at the World Cup in Russian Federation, one more than Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.

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.

"First time in a long time since we've seen a hat-trick from an England player in the World Cup, absolutely delighted for Harry and the team", tweeted Hurst.

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

Tottenham striker Harry Kane was the star player once again as he helped the Three Lions score a World Cup victory with a hat-trick.

Even in the first game, every time we got a corner it felt unsafe - and Tunisia knew it.

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

"To concede five goals in the first half, two penalties, two set-pieces, where England were very, very effective, well, what we did was try to avoid a bigger catastrophe".

England will now play Belgium, which beat Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday, for the top group spot on Thursday.

Group H is a three-horse race with the exciting 2-2 draw between Japan and Senegal and Colombia's 3-0 defeat of Poland sealing the fate of the underperforming Poles.

"The boys, from the goalkeeper to the forward line, were fantastic, the boys that came on were fantastic", he said.

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

"You think back to the last World Cups, where we drew 0-0 with Algeria and struggled to score against United States of America, and we look much better", he tells Newsbeat.

"We want to keep our momentum going and we want to keep winning football matches", added Southgate during a live interview on the Lions' Den programme on the England YouTube channel. The player was deeply affected by this matter. I am not sure how we're going to work all of that out really, so let's just go and enjoy the game again.

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

It was England's biggest win in a major tournament match.

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

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

England attacker Raheem Sterling loses out on possession.

However, Panama refused to lay down and were rewarded with a 78th moment that will go down in history - their first World Cup goal. It's a luxurious choice for any manager to have after two World Cup matches, especially one coaching a team where the tension and the fear of failure is often at a fever pitch from the opening kick.

The outstretched right foot of Baloy, making his World Cup debut at age 37, guided the ball home from a 78th-minute free kick, triggering pandemonium among fans in the stands and also back home, in celebrations dubbed "Panamania" on social media.