Harry Kane has become England’s top goal scorer after scoring a hat-trick during Sunday’s 6-1 victory over Panama.
Kane’s first goal was from the spot in the 22nd minute. He converted again in the 45+1 minute, hammering his effort into the top corner.
His third goal was in the 62nd minute after Loftus-Cheek’s strike from the edge of the box hit his heel and he wrong foots Penedo to find the net. The referee went to the VAR to check for offside, but the forward was just on to notch his third goal of the game.
This takes the 24-year-old’s world cup tally to 5 goals in two games, giving him an overall tally of 18 goals in 26 appearances for England, and England manager Gareth Southgate has said he is confident Kane will continue to deliver.
After being asked in his post match press conference whether Kane’s influence can be compared to that of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for their countries, Southgate replied by heaping praise on his captain.
“He’s there, he’s up at the top. We wouldn’t swap him for anyone at the tournament in terms of No 9s. We know that when he gets opportunities he’s going to bury them, you sit there very confident in his ability to take chances.
“But as important in that is the way he sacrifices himself for the team, the way he presses, holds the ball up, and contributes to the overall game. He’s not a player who just stands up front and takes chances. That’s important in the ethic of the team we’re trying to create.
Clearly the stage to do that is this one. He’s started brilliantly. The penalty, some dismiss as being easy, but the length of time he had to wait to take it, the distractions to keep focused and refocus. It tells you a bit about the mental toughness he’s got.”
England currently sit at the top the standings with a solitary yellow card being the only difference between themselves and Belgium, who have equal goals scored and conceded.