Gareth Southgate: ‘We wouldn’t swap Harry Kane for anyone’

England secures spot in World Cup round of 16 with win over Panama

Harry Kane hits three as England rout Panama 6-1, advance to World Cup last 16

He may have admitted his third goal was lucky, but Kane was still glad to pull level with Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat trick in the 1966 final, as England's second-highest World Cup goal scorer with five.

Harry Kane and John Stones both scored twice and Jesse Lingard also found the back of the net with a stunning strike from distance before the break.

The 24-year-old has made no secret of his desire to establish his reputation alongside players such as Ronaldo and Lionel Messi at this tournament. "England is totally spectacular, a handsome team", said coach Hernan Dario Gomez, who went into the English changing room at halftime to congratulate Southgate.

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The way they are playing is reminiscent of how we used to play in our day with Gilly, Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting at the top. Alex Hales is known for hitting big scores at Trent Bridge and eased into the contest as soon as he walked from the crease.

The litany of failures at World Cups in South Africa in 2010 and Brazil four years later - when a 4-1 beating by Germany in the last 16 was followed by a failure to even advance from the group in South America - hit its nadir with that Euro 2016 loss to Iceland.

9 - At the end of a week in which he handled the teacup-sized storm of "teamsheet-gate" maturely, Southgate was vindicated for making no more changes to his starting XI than were necessary.

"Always enjoy the good moments in your life because you never know what's around the corner". Not many players get to score a hat-trick in the World Cup.

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As a result, England advanced from the group stage with one game to spare owing to their opening game win over Tunisia in Volgograd on Monday.

England face Belgium in their final group game on Thursday to decide who will be finishing first and second in Group H.

Although Gareth Southgate's team is certain to come against tougher opponents than Panama, it would take a heart of stone not to allow English fans indulge quite such a convincing win. "We have been working on set pieces and working on the way we play and it is all coming together".

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Substitute Felipe Baloy rewarded them with a consolation goal in the 78th minute, sliding home a free kick that was Panama's first goal in their debut World Cup.

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