What Panama's coach told Gareth Southgate at half-time as England ran riot in Nizhny

Yahoo Sport UK
The two managers share a few words during England’s win over Panama.
The two managers share a few words during England’s win over Panama.

England fans were in dreamland at half-time in Nizhny and on their way to their biggest ever World Cup victory.

The Three Lions went in five goals to the good at the interval and finished up 6-1 winners against lowly Panama.

Harry Kane became only the third England player to score a hat-trick at a World Cup following in the footsteps of Sir Geoff Hurst and the great Gary Lineker.

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Even John Stones helped himself to a double in the stunning rout with Jese Lingard’s spectacular effort being the pick of the bunch.

England are now safely through to the knockout stages and go head to head with Belgium on Thursday to determine who wins the group.

It’s hard to imagine exactly what you tell your team at half time with a five-goal deficit to try and claw back in the second period.

Panama’s coach Hernan Dario Gomez seemed relaxed about that task though as he led a nation who were simply happy to have made it to the finals in Russia.

Gomez was spotted by TV cameras seeking out England manager Gareth Southgate at the break for a brief chat.

He was asked after the match what he had said to the Three Lions boss with the result already as good as confirmed.

Gomez told reporters: “I went to congratulate him (Southgate) at half-time.

“I told him I really like his team. England are totally spectacular, a beautiful team.

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“I think that the difference of goals could have been more – we could have actually conceded more goals.

“As to our football, we’ve tried to play against England but there’s a huge difference between our two teams.

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“To concede five goals in the first half, two penalties, two set-pieces, where England were very, very effective, well, what we did was try to avoid a bigger catastrophe.”

There was even something for Panama to celebrate in the second half as they netted their first ever World Cup goal to grab a consolation.

Gomez added: “We managed to keep the ball in the second half a little bit more and we kept playing in an orderly fashion because had we not done that it wouldn’t have been six goals but far more.”


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