By William Hill
Last Updated: 24th June 2018
A new England World Cup record win has been established as the Three Lions breezed to a 6-1 victory over debutants Panama.
Their previous best result was 3-0, which was achieved against Poland and Paraguay in 1986 and Denmark in 2002.
They had already gone two better than that by half time in Nizhny Novgorod following an extraordinary 45 minutes in which they struck five times.
Harry Kane scored two penalties, John Stones converted twice from set pieces and Jesse Lingard netted the pick of the quintet from long range.
The skipper completed his first England hat-trick in the 62nd minute and was substituted straight afterwards as Gareth Southgate decided to give some of his main men a breather.
This disrupted the 1966 champions’ momentum a little and stopped them completely obliterating the former mark of 3-0, with Panama’s first ever World Cup goal thinning the margin to five.
The other consequence of this England World Cup record win is that it leaves them with identical figures to World Cup Group G rivals Belgium after two games.
Both teams have two wins, six points, eight goals for and two against. This means it will come down to fair play records if there isn’t a winner in Kaliningrad on Thursday.
Roberto Martinez’s men were favourites to top World Cup Group G, but England’s dismissal of Panama and lower booking count has flipped that. The Three Lions are now 4/7, with Belgium 5/4.
Despite this, Romelu Lukaku and co are slight favourites to win the actual match at 7/4. England are 15/8, with the draw the same price.
England World Cup record win – can they go all the way?
England didn’t just break their own record against Panama, they delivered the heaviest triumph of the tournament so far.
The side that won a match by the highest margin at the 2014 edition were Germany with their famous 7-1 thrashing of hosts Brazil. They of course went on to win the World Cup.
Interestingly, Southgate’s squad haven’t been backed in too significantly since the result. They remain sixth favourites to take home the trophy at 10/1.
That price puts them ahead of the likes of Croatia (14/1) and Argentina (20/1), but behind Brazil and Spain (both 9/2), Germany (13/2), Belgium (15/2) and France (8/1).