Five things we learned as Kane treble helps England rout Panama
Three Lions odds shorten after Group G result
Harry Kane was the star of the show as England routed Panama 6-1 in Nizhny Novgorod to seal their place in the last-16 of the World Cup.
Tottenham Hotspur ace Kane fired home his first Three Lions hat-trick in a match which also saw Jesse Lingard get on the scoresheet and John Stones bag a brace.
Gareth Southgate and co. will face tougher tests than Panama as the tournament goes on. But there’s still plenty to take away from this afternoon’s match, as the Coral News Team explain…
Captain Kane at the treble
This World Cup looks as though it could be defined by big-name players. Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku and Diego Costa have all stepped up to the fore so far. And England’s very own Harry Kane is doing the same for the Three Lions.
The Spurs star bagged his first international treble to take his tally to five for the tournament and go above Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot. Not since Michael Owen in 1998 and 2002 have England been able to call upon a striker with such a natural instinct for where the back of the net is.
His performances will be key to how far the country goes in Russia. And as it stands, the signs are looking pretty good. Kane is now the 2/1 favourite to win the World Cup Golden Boot.
England’s turnaround at set-pieces under Gareth Southgate has been nothing short of remarkable. The Three Lions have now scored three of their eight goals at the tournament direct from corners.
John Stones and Harry Maguire both offer a significant aerial threat. And paired with Kieran Trippier’s pinpoint deliveries, England look seriously dangerous from almost all dead ball situations.
It’s an area that has been highlighted by Southgate and Steve Holland as one where the team can gain an advantage over opponents. And so far it’s proving correct.
Worries remain at the back
For all of England’s positive play going forward, worries remain over a shaky backline. Panama were gifted several chances as a result of sloppy play at the back in Nizhny Novgorod. Their goal came about thanks to slack marking at a set-piece.
The Three Lions will face far tougher opposition than the Panamanians in Russia. They’ll need to tighten things up and ensure their passing game is the best it can be or they will be punished. Belgium should provide a far sterner test of the nation’s defensive resolve.
Trippier and Lingard are shining
Kane has rightly been grabbing the headlines in light of his incredible goalscoring exploits. But it wouldn’t be possible without the help of the supporting cast. Kieran Trippier and Jesse Lingard, in particular, have shone so far at this World Cup.
The latter of the pair is a constant menace going forward and was targeted by Panama from minute one because of the impact he has on this England side. Trippier provides solidity down the right and has become the go to man from dead ball situations.
Loftus-Cheek shows strength-in-depth
Part of England’s problem in the past has been their inability to switch things up if a player gets injured. Dele Alli’s thigh strain threatened to disrupt the rhythm, structure and dynamism of this Three Lions side.
But Ruben Loftus-Cheek stepped in and showed us that he’s every bit a World Cup player. The Chelsea man drove forward, created space and displayed the sort of attitude that could well see him retain his place against Belgium at the expense of Alli.
Southgate knows he has options off the bench. That not only means England can change things if it’s not working. It also means that every member of the squad is on their toes in the knowledge that there’s someone behind them who could take their place.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing