England were expected to seal a comfortable victory over Panama in Nizhniy Novgorod on Sunday afternoon and they didn’t disappoint.
Gareth Southgate’s men booked their place in the 2018 World Cup knockout stages with an emphatic 6-1 victory in their second game of the tournament.
John Stones opened the scoring early on with a header from a corner before Harry Kane made it 2-0 from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute. Jesse Lingard then netted a peach from outside the box before Stones notched his second goal of the afternoon.
Kane then completed a remarkable first-half performance by netting his second penalty of the afternoon before half-time.
Although England were expected to beat Panama, nobody saw this first-half demolition coming.
Belgium, who thrashed Tunisia 5-2 on Saturday, only managed to put three goals past the Central American nation. England managed to score five in 45 minutes.
Following England’s 2-1 win over Tunisia last Monday, the phrase ‘It’s Coming Home’ has been banded about by fans up and down the country - and only half-jokingly.
England fans love what happened after each goal
There’s a real sense that England could go very far in this summer’s tournament, especially after watching some of the more fancied nations flatter to deceive in these early stages.
‘It’s Coming Home’ is, of course, the famous line from the hit-1996 song ‘Three Lions’ - which became England’s unofficial anthem at the European Championships that year.
Incredibly, and to the delight of England supporters everywhere, ‘Three Lions’ was played over the tannoy inside the Stadion Nizhny Novgorod after every goal that went in against Panama.
Goal music is usually pretty naff but not when it’s ‘Three Lions’ and England fans are starting to genuinely believe that the impossible might be possible.
Kane added gloss to the scoreline in the second half
There was one more rendition of the song before full-time when Kane completed his hat-trick in the second half.
The Tottenham star, who scored both of England’s goals against Tunisia, now leads the race for the Golden Boot award with five goals to his name.
England, meanwhile, end their group stage campaign against Belgium on Thursday night.
Win the group and they will face the runners-up from Group H, which will either be Japan, Senegal, Colombia or Poland.