Harry Kane entered today’s World Cup match between England and Panama with two goals, two behind Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo in the race for the Golden Boot. He left the game in the 66th minute as the Golden Boot leader, scoring a hat trick as England cruised to a 6-1 demolition of the Panamanians.
You might think that a hat trick would be a pretty exciting thing! You’d be mostly wrong. Two of Kane’s goals came from the penalty spot, and the third was an accidental goal after Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot deflected in the net off of Kane’s back heel, making his three goals possibly the dumbest hat trick in the history of the World Cup. In fact, Kane didn’t even record a single shot from open play in this match!
Kane’s first goal came after Jesse Lingard was taken down in the Panamanian box in the 21st minute. Kane, being England’s best penalty taker and team captain, stepped up and blasted it into the top corner.
Kane’s second came just before halftime after he was rugby-tackled in the Panamanian box, and his penalty goal was almost an exact duplication of his first. Same foot, same location, same result. Boom.
Kane taking penalties isn’t unusual, but it was the third goal that was the most ridiculous. Ruben Loftus-Cheek put a nice shot on target from the top of the box. Kane couldn’t get out of the way, the shot clipped the back of his heel, and lofted over the Panamanian keeper’s head to make the score 6-0.
To his credit (and despite the numerous #jokes on social media), Kane didn’t claim the goal and didn’t celebrate like he scored it. Nevertheless, he was credited with it, and was subbed off for Jamie Vardy immediately afterwards. England went on to win 6-1 — defender John Stones had two goals and Jesse Lingard scored a beautiful curler in the first half to round out England’s tally.
They all count, and Kane should absolutely be proud. He has now scored as many goals in two World Cup games as Lionel Messi has scored in four World Cups. That’s an impressive accomplishment, and regardless of how they went in he still gets to take a World Cup Man of the Match ball home.