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

25 June 2018

England booked their spot in the Round of 16 of FIFA World Cup 2018 after a clinical performance against debutants Panama in their second group match on Sunday.

It was the first time in England's history they have managed five goals in a first half and Kane became the first England player to score a World Cup hat-trick since Gary Lineker in 1986.

It might have only been Panama, but England could hardly have been more impressive in thrashing their Group G rivals to make it six points from six at this year's World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku both have four goals apiece and can be backed at [4.4] and [6.4] respectively, while Spain's Diego Costa (three goals) is available to back at [7.8].

From there Belgium went on to win the match comfortably, but it certainly was not routine for the side, and numerous Belgium faithful remain unconvinced by manager Martinez, though Lampard believes if he can get his tactics right, then they will be a real threat this summer.

He said his third goal, which came from a Ruben Loftus-Cheek shot that deflected off the English captain's heel into the net, "was one of the luckiest of my career".

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Though limited in ability, Panama's forwards did get into space behind England several times, showing that even if they do have Kane up front, plenty of work is still needed in defence.

The first goal came from Manchester City defender John Stones on eight minutes, who scored his first ever worldwide goal. "We wouldn't swap him for anyone in the tournament in terms of No. 9s", Southgate said.

Balague immediately got destroyed by England fans, with over 1,300 fans commenting and counting.

Can England win the World Cup?

The next tiebreaker is fair play - i.e. the amount of yellow and red cards accumulated by a team throughout the group stage.

Rumours before the game indicated that Marcus Rashford would start ahead of Raheem Sterling, who wasn't at his best against Tunisia, but the Man City forward kept his place and hardly put a foot wrong in the first half. Some have been a couple of weeks without a match and we're going to need more people ready as we get further into the tournament.

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