England crushing Panama 5-0 at halftime

Gareth Southgate England

England prepare for their second group-stage match against Panama Credit Reuters

"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".

Harry Kane has revealed his joy at scoring a hat-trick to help England ease past Panama.

Panama were beaten 3-0 by Belgium in their opener, but were completely blown away by England in Novgorod.

"England are so practical, it's a lovely team", said Gomez, quick to admit the gulf in class between the two.

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Lingard made it 3-0 in the 36th minute with a handsome strike from just outside the area before Stones nodded in the fourth after a cleverly worked free-kick routine.

But Bent believes defending at set-pieces is an area the squad will need to work on as the tournament progresses.

The Tottenham Hotspur striker picked himself up and slammed home another spot-kick in nearly identical fashion to his opening effort to give England a huge 5-0 advantage at the break.

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.

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The margin of victory for England surpassed 3-0 wins over Poland and Paraguay in Mexico in 1986, and against Denmark in 2002.

Combined with Belgium's win on Saturday, the Three Lions have assured a spot into the knockout stage, and now all that's left is to decide is who finishes first in the group.

The South American side broke the deadlock five minutes before half-time as Yerry Mina rounded off a superb team move with the opening goal. 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.

"We knew before the game what they were all about", Trippier added.

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The African team went ahead after a mistake from Japan goalkeeper Eiji Kawashima, whose attempted clearance cannoned back off Sadio Mane and into the net. "We were feeling rather frightened by the big difference between the two teams".

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