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Dublin: 9 °C Saturday 17 November, 2018


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Hello and welcome to our live coverage of this afternoon’s Group G encounter between England and Panama.

Gareth Southgate’s men got up and running with a dramatic, late 2-1 victory over Tunisia last week thanks to a double from Harry Kane.

They will be looking to get a second win here today against World Cup debutants Panama today, who fell 3-0 to Belgium.

Today’s teams will line out as follows…

England: Pickford; Walker, Stones, Maguire; Trippier, Henderson, Young; Loftus-Cheek, Lingard; Sterling; Kane.

Panama: Penedo; Murillo, R Torres, Escobar, Davis; Barcenas, Cooper, Gomez, Godoy, J Rodriguez; Perez.

The national anthems are done and dusted and kick-off is just moments away. How’s this one going?

Poll Results:


A nasty early bang is suffered by Jesse Lingard. The Man United forward collided with Gabriel Gomez competing for a high ball and is now receiving medical attention from the England doctors.


Chance! That was a big, big let-off for England as Panama somehow cut them apart with absolute ease in the final third. The ball is put on a plate for Anibal Godoy, but the midfielder completely mishit his strike and ballooned the ball high and wide. Where did that come from?


England are ahead after just eight minutes and it’s a brilliant header from John Stones. The Man City defender peeled away from his marker and was given an ocean of space inside the box to pick a corner with a thumping effort. It’s his first goal for England!



Panama doing really well to get the ball into the final third but they lack any sort of composure to finish off their attacks. England are in control of this game, but still look just a little nervous in the centre of defence when Panamanian forwards run directly at them.


Chance! Edgar Barcenas whips a brilliant effort goal-bound and it very nearly flies into Jordan Pickford’s bottom corner from 25 yards. He got a lot of power behind his strike and it had the England goalkeeper just a tad bit worried as he tried to cover all his angles.

Flag 20Mins

PENALTY! Jesse Lingard is shoved over from behind by Fidel Escobar and England have the chance to double their lead from the spot.



Harry Kane with an emphatic penalty which flies into the top corner makes it 2-0 to England after just 22 minutes. It’s his third goal in two games, and his side look to be en route to a comfortable three points here.



Incredibly, Panama have actually had more shots so far in this game with three efforts on goal. Southgate’s men have had just two — both of which have been whacked into the back of the net. Clinical.



It’s an absolutely sublime strike from Jesse Lingard to make it 3-0. The Man United man veers inside with close control before whipping the ball into the top corner with a brilliant curling effort. What a hit!


It’s four! The Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo initially makes a great save from close range, but John Stones is on hand to head into the back of the net. It’s the centre back’s second goal of this half alone and this is turning into a rout.


PENALTY! Harry Kane is wrested to the ground by Anibal Godoy inside the box and England have another spot-kick.



This really is getting embarrassing for Panama now. Kane picks the same spot as before and fires the ball into the top right corner. It’s 5-0. It’s 5-0 and it’s not even half-time.




That was a bit mad, wasn’t it? I mean, people said Panama actually had an outside chance at causing an upset here. John Stones is on a hat-trick. Did that half of football really happen?

To be fair, England have been immense. The quality of opposition clearly isn’t of the highest calibre but Gareth Southgate’s men have taken full advantage. Following a slightly nervous start, it’s been an almost-perfect 45 minutes.

Two Stones headers, two Harry Kane penalties and a worldie from Jesse Lingard. Could this go into double digits after the break?



A chance for a sixth as Raheem Sterling latches onto an excellent through ball from Harry Kane, however goalkeeper Jaime Penedo manages to come from his line to close down the space and clear the danger at very the last second. A let-off.


It’s been plain sailing for the Three Lions so far this afternoon.

England v Panama: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia Source: Clive Brunskill

England v Panama: Group G - 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia



You couldn’t make it up — Big Sam watching the England game. With a Big Mac. On his own. In a pub.


It’s been a fairly tepid start to the second half. The result is a foregone conclusion at this stage and Panama are just out to save face, making it damaged limitations. With a group-deciding battle with Belgium to come next week, Gareth Southgate won’t want to push his side unnecessarily here.


There we have it — Harry Kane completes his hat-trick in bizarre circumstances. Ruben Loftus-Cheek  had the initial effort on goal from the edge of the box, the ball deflected off the Spurs striker before flying into the back of the net. It’s 6-0.


Kane becomes the third English player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup.


Plenty of changes for England now as Jamie Vardy, Fabian Delph and Danny Rose come off the bench to see his game out. Containment football for the Three Lions now it seems, with a narrow six goal lead to protect.


Chance! Panama almost find a way back into this game but it’s wide. A corner crossed into the box flies towards the back post where Roman Torres was completely unmarked. The defender, however, could only smash his effort inches wide of the target. So close to cutting the deficit.


It’s there!!! Panama pull one back and have a first World Cup goal in their history. This is the nation’s first ever appearance at the finals and, even though beaten heavily here, their supporters celebrate Felipe Baloy’s strike wildly. And why not!

The midfielder got on the end of a dangerous cross into the area, stuck out a leg and saw the ball fly past Jordan Pickford. It’s 6-1!


A late chance for John Stones to grab his hat-trick. The ball dropped to the Man City defender within striking distance inside the box but the ball just got away from his toe before being gathered by Penedo.


There will be four minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the second half.


About the author:

Aaron Gallagher


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