England smash spate of team World Cup records in 6-1 win over Panama

24 Jun, 2018 13:57
England smash spate of team World Cup records in 6-1 win over Panama
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/ Reuters

The demolition of the hapless Central American team was by far the most statistically convincing performance the Three Lions have produced during their 64 matches in World Cup finals, dating back to 1950.

England had never scored six goals, five goals in a half, or won by such a convincing margin.

In fact, England have only managed four goals twice before in tournament play, the last time in their only-ever World Cup final in 1966, when they beat Germany 4-2 in extra time. Their biggest margin of victory was three, last achieved in a 3-0 defeat of Denmark in the second round of the 2002 World Cup.

Harry Kane matched the most-ever goals scored by an England player in the tournament, becoming the country’s third hat-trick hero after Geoff Hurst in 1966, and Gary Lineker in 1986, but was taken off before he could secure the record for himself.

Despite what was a historically carefree and prolific England performance, it stopped short of all-time records. Hungary beat another Central American side, Salvador, 10-1 in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, and there have also been several 9-0 results, the last of these when Yugoslavia defeated Congo DR in the 1974 Mundial.

While most of these records look unbeatable, the expansion of the World Cup to 48 teams from 2026 could once again see epic mismatches to threaten the record books.