Captain Harry Kane led the way with a hat-trick as England stormed into the knockout stages of the World Cup with a 6-1 thrashing of Panama.
Gareth Southgate's side had squeezed past Tunisia in their opening Group G game thanks to a stoppage-time winner from their skipper, but there was no late drama in a one-sided clash in Nizhny Novgorod.
Kane and John Stones both scored twice in the first half, the former converting a pair of penalties as England netted five before the break against their beleaguered opponents.
However, Jesse Lingard registered the pick of England's first-half strikes, bending a shot home with his right foot after being teed up by Raheem Sterling, who – despite media conjecture in the week – kept his place in the starting XI.
Kane enjoyed a slice of good fortune to secure his treble, inadvertently deflecting Ruben Loftus-Cheek's drive beyond goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, for his fifth of the tournament, moving him clear of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in the battle for the Golden Boot.
Substitute Felipe Baloy created history with Panama's first goal in the finals, though England's emphatic win sees them join Belgium - who they face in Kaliningrad on Thursday - in qualifying from the group.
5 - Harry Kane is the current leading scorer at the 2018 World Cup with five goals, scoring with all five of his shots on target in the tournament. Midas. #ENGPAN #ENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/xcOEEoWOE0— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2018
Panama actually enjoyed the first good chance - Anibal Godoy slicing a clear sight of goal wide with his left foot – before they left a canal-sized gap for an unmarked Stones to thump home a header from Kieran Trippier's corner.
The early goal opened the floodgates. Kane emphatically converted a penalty to make it 2-0 following a foul on Lingard, who was next to find the net with a sublime curling finish with his right foot from the edge of the area.
A clever set-piece move set up Stones for the next, the centre-back on hand to nod home the rebound after goalkeeper Penedo had impressively kept out Sterling's close-range header.
Kane completed the first-half carnage with a mirror image of his earlier penalty, hammering the ball into Penedo's top right corner after referee Ghead Grisha had spotted a foul on the forward by Fidel Escobar, albeit he was not the only offender as Panama felt holding was their only hope of stemming the English tide.
5 - This is only the fifth time in World Cup history that a team has scored 5+ goals in the first half of a match, with Germany vs Brazil in the 2014 semi-final the most recent occasion. Rout. #ENGPAN #ENG #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/dM69aHGaqh— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 24, 2018
The Tottenham striker became just the third Englishman to score a treble at the World Cup finals in the 62nd minute, his final touch on Loftus-Cheek's attempt seeing him join a select club that also includes Geoff Hurst and Gary Lineker.
Having enjoyed watching his team-mates run up the score, Jordan Pickford made a brave block on Murillo. Yet the Everton goalkeeper was unable to stop veteran Baloy's first-time attempt from Ricardo Avila's free-kick, sparking huge celebrations on the field, in the dugout and also in the stands.
Panama rightly enjoyed their consolation goal, but Kane and England will hog the headlines after a resounding result that will further raise hopes back home of a repeat of their 1966 triumph.
Key Opta Stats:
- England have won both of their opening two group-stage games at a World Cup tournament for the third time, also doing so in 1982 and 2006.
- This was England's biggest ever win in a major tournament match.
- This was only the fifth occasion a side had scored five goals before half-time in a World Cup match, and the first since Germany did so against Brazil in the 2014 semi-final.
- England scored as many goals in this match as they had in their previous seven World Cup matches combined (6).
- Only in 1966 (11) have England scored more goals in a single World Cup tournament than they have in 2018 (8, same as 1954 and 1990).
- Panama have conceded nine goals across their first two World Cup matches. The last time anyone conceded more in their first ever two fixtures was in 1974, with Zaire shipping 11 and Haiti conceding 10.
|Thomas and friends ´want to beat each other´s brains in´|
|Woods´ love for links fathered at Carnoustie|
|Confident Rose targets tournament wins and number one spot|
|Hallgrimsson leaves Iceland post|
|Australian Open to consult players over fifth-set tie-breaks|
|Daley´s coming home - Ajax rewrite Three Lions anthem|
|Woods: Open my best chance at winning another major|
|Blind completes Ajax return from Manchester United|
|I belong at the top, says Anderson|
|Leaving Madrid was my biggest regret, Panucci warns Ronaldo|
|Folau in no rush to settle future amid Reds rumours|
|Degenkolb: I need two or three secretaries to manage congratulations!|
|Harrington v Garcia: When winning makes life tougher|
|Mafi and Timani fined by Rebels|
|Watson: Johnson and Woods can prosper at Carnoustie|
|Alderweireld hints at Tottenham departure|
|Maradona takes over as Dynamo Brest chairman|
|The Open 2018: Wounded animal Spieth is a danger to Carnoustie rivals|
|Wests´ Reynolds to miss the rest of 2018|
|Pussy Riot members jailed for World Cup final protest|
|Ronaldo capture boosts Serie A - Mourinho|
|Goals at three World Cups and 50 for the Socceroos – Cahill´s international career in numbers|
|Giroud: It´s coming home|
|Harper wins Home Run Derby in Nationals Park|
|Brighton sign Button from Fulham|
|Bolt set to trial with A-League club Central Coast Mariners|
|Thomas asks Seahawks for extension or trade|
|Walker doubts he´ll join Knicks, wants ´long´ stay at Hornets|
|Socceroos hero Cahill retires from internationals|
|Record income revenue for Barcelona|
|Kudla untroubled as Young bows out in Newport|
|Celtics still hoping to re-sign Smart|
|Villarreal sign highly rated Velez midfielder Caseres|
|Juventus signing Ronaldo should give Milan optimism – Kaka|
|Berrettini masters Mayer in Bastad|
|Manchester United and Ajax agree Daley Blind transfer|
|Familiarity with demands of Real Madrid an advantage – Lopetegui|
|Parmentier rallies to avoid Bucharest exit, Arruabarrena bows out in Gstaad|
|Steelers fail to sign Bell to long-term deal|
|Over 10 per cent of Croatia´s population welcomes World Cup heroes home|
|Thierry Henry quits pundit role to focus on coaching|
|France´s World Cup winners given heroes´ welcome in Paris|
|At the end we will see who is best - Ronaldo sidesteps Messi rivalry|
|Qatar? China? Ronaldo only has eyes for glory at Juventus|
|Proud Kane praises team-mates after Golden Boot win|
|The Open 2018 diary: Is that Tiger Woods? Harrington feels the Burn...|
|Porte targeting Vuelta after Tour de France anguish|
|Maradona madness, #WaistcoatWednesday, bruised Batshuayi - Alternative World Cup awards|
|It could be the best time - Martinez hints at Hazard Chelsea exit|
|England call up Billings as cover for injury doubt Roy|
|McIlroy on track for fitting major haul - Harrington|
|Froome plays down Thomas battle for Sky supremacy|
|Carnoustie record counts for little at The Open, says Fleetwood|
|I don´t see it - Napoli chief De Laurentiis plays down talk of Callejon-Suso swap|
|One or two changes required at Chelsea, says Sarri|
|Monaco confirm Golovin approach|
|Let´s keep making noise! - Serena dedicates Wimbledon run to fellow mothers|
|Full list of Open tee times|
|Fakhar inspires another big Pakistan ODI win|
|Spieth ´annoyed´ by re-watch of 13th hole|
|Kaka claims Ronaldo arrival will boost all Italian clubs|
|Spieth vows to be more artist than tactician in Open defence|
|Conte thanks Chelsea players, staff and fans|
|Rodgers: I´d love to play with the Packers to 40|
|Sevilla insist N´Zonzi will cost €40m|
|Hugill shows mystic powers with accurate World Cup predictions|
|World Cup 2018: FARE ready for post-tournament challenges in Russia|
|Woods grouped with Matsuyama and Knox at Open|
|Matthaus questions idea of French dynasty|
|Chandimal, Sri Lanka coach and manager banned for two Tests and four ODIs|