Wednesday 20 February 2019

'We can go all the way' says hat-trick hero Kane

England 6-1 Panama

Belief: Harry Kane
Belief: Harry Kane

Harry Kane 'believes' England can go all the way and win the World Cup after scoring a hat-trick in Sunday's 6-1 win against Panama which sealed their qualification from Group G.

Kane scored a hat-trick to take him to five goals for the tournament, one ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku in the race for the Golden Boot.

Jesse Lingard and John Stones were the other goal scorers in a record breaking game for the Three Lions, and Kane says England can win the World Cup if they stick to their plan.

"You have to believe," Kane said when asked if England can go all the way and lift the trophy. "There is a long way to go, a lot of hard work but we just have to stick to our game plan."

England have scored five of their eight goals from set pieces and Kane says it's testament to the hard work that goes on in training.

"We have been working on set pieces and working on the way we play and it is all coming together. (It's) fantastic to be through and to do it this way is brilliant," Kane said.

"I am so, so proud of the boys," the captain added. "The fans have been brilliant, both sets of fans to be fair, that is what the World Cup is about.

"We are enjoying it and we have to keep it going, not get ahead of ourselves.

"We got to go into the game against Belgium looking to win but this win gives us a bit of a cushion. We will see what happens."

Ruben Loftus-Cheek made his full competitive debut and played tribute to England's 'respected' young captain. "For such a young captain Harry Kane is so vocal and I think everyone respects him massively in the team," he said.

England face Belgium in their final Group G match which will determine which side qualifies as group winners. Finishing second provides a slightly easier run in the tournament as it could avoid Germany or Brazil in the quarter-finals, but Kane is confident England will win their third World Cup match in a row.

"We got to go into the game against Belgium looking to win but this win gives us a bit of a cushion," Kane said. "We will see what happens."

Asked if his captain could hit the heights of a Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, England boss Gareth Southgate said he had started "brilliantly" and praised him for staying mentally strong as he waited to take penalties while the Panamanian players argued.

"We wouldn't swap him for any other No. 9 in the tournament, such is his ability to take chances," the coach said.

Panama boss Hernan Gomez added: "Well, I think that the difference of goals could have been more. We've tried to play against England but there's a huge difference between our two teams."

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