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.
|Tevez, Hulk, Oscar, Lavezzi - how the CSL stars Dembele is following to China fared|
|Thiem retires from Australian Open|
|Osaka ´not telling´ when it comes to injury niggle|
|Fabinho enjoying Klopp´s management style|
|Halep battles past Kenin in Melbourne|
|Hartley to miss England´s Six Nations opener|
|Dembele departs Spurs for Guangzhou R&F|
|Nacho convinced Isco remains important to Real Madrid|
|Warriors star Curry sets NBA record|
|Raonic survives four-hour marathon against Wawrinka|
|Osaka powers through to Aus Open third round|
|Irving dominates in Celtics´ win over Raptors|
|Irving called LeBron this week to apologise|
|Ajax star De Jong wants to resolve future ´quickly´|
|Payton on Rams CB Peters: I have great respect for him|
|Rockets star Harden matches Chamberlain with historic performances|
|Nishikori survives Karlovic test in Melbourne|
|Vieira reunion felt really weird - Henry|
|´#BetAgainstUs´ - Edelman and Pats embracing underdog status|
|Van der Vaart: Isco the best player in the world|
|I haven´t seen Guardiola or Klopp do that – Lampard unhappy with Bielsa|
|Real Madrid always play to win, insists Casemiro|
|Royals pitcher Skoglund suspended for 80 games after testing positive for PEDs|
|Ronaldo and Juve celebrate Supercoppa Italiana title with Mayweather|
|We are not going to talk about Morata - Simeone reluctant to discuss striker|
|Madrid weak in Leganes loss, says Solari|
|Bologna and Banvit seal Champions League play-off spots|
|LeBron James to miss Thunder & Rockets games but nearing practice return|
|Leganes 1 Real Madrid 0 (1-3 agg): Isco starts as Solari´s side go through despite defeat|
|NFL playoffs 2019: X-factor for each NFC team|
|Mahomes: Chiefs must not repeat mistakes against Patriots|
|Higuain´s Supercoppa benching due to virus, says Milan boss Gattuso|
|Brown fires back at Arians over ´diva´ comments|
|Stone heading home from West Indies tour with back injury|
|Shazier will continue rehab with intention of playing again|
|That´s why we signed him! Allegri hails Supercoppa match-winner Ronaldo|
|Monaco on worst home run in club´s history after Nice draw|
|Atletico Madrid 3 Girona 3 (4-4 agg): Simeone´s side out on away goals|
|Gregg Williams is Jets´ new defensive coordinator|
|Ronaldo: Supercoppa triumph just the start for Juve|
|Monaco confirm Batshuayi talks|
|You know more than me! Bielsa´s Barcelona research surprised Guardiola|
|Juventus 1 AC Milan 0: Ronaldo heads Bianconeri to Supercoppa glory|
|Kane injury cannot be excuse for Tottenham – Pochettino|
|Woods to open 2019 schedule at Torrey Pines|
|Reported Liverpool target Dabbur to undergo Sevilla medical|
|Lebanon v North Korea: Radulovic calls on players to make history|
|MLS MVP Martinez signs five-year contract with Atlanta|
|WBC set deadline for Wilder-Fury rematch|
|Iran 0 Iraq 0: Team Melli top Group D after dull draw|
|Vietnam 2 Yemen 0: Quang Hai shines to give Golden Dragons hope|
|Bielsa admits to spying on all Leeds´ opponents|
|Valverde open to arrivals amid De Jong tug-of-war|
|Sexton named in Ireland squad for Six Nations openers|
|Higuain benched for Supercoppa Italiana amid Chelsea links|
|De Grandhomme, Latham and Santner back in Black Caps squad|
|Oman v Turkmenistan: Verbeek tells players to ´score as many as possible´|
|Japan v Uzbekistan: Cuper not distracted by potential last-16 opponents|
|Brown desperate for England recall|
|Lowry ties course record in Abu Dhabi|
|James is playing for Bayern future – Kovac|
|Wizards can compete for playoffs in LeBron-less East despite injuries - Brooks|
|Kyrgyzstan 3 Philippines 1: Lux hat-trick gives White Falcons third-place hope|
|South Korea 2 China 0: Son sets the standard as Bento´s men take top spot|
|Saudi Arabia v Qatar: Top spot on the line in Group E|
|Wasps pull off Fekitoa coup|
|Fresh injury woe for Real Madrid defender Vallejo|
|Home sweet home for Wozniacki as Stephens conquers Melbourne demons|
|Nadal: Victory over Ebden a step forward|
|Proteas rest Steyn and De Kock for opening ODIs|