England’s hopes of making the World Cup round of 16 were dealt a significant blow earlier today.
The Three Lions were frustrated by a well-organised Panama defence in Nizhny Novgorod and failed to carve out any clearcut chances as the game finished goalless.
Gareth Southgate looked helpless on the sidelines as his side persisted with their patient approach of sideways passes to no avail.
England’s best chance came from a corner; Harry Kane attempted to whip the ball towards the near post but sliced it out to left-back Ashley Young at the edge of the box.
The PFA Player of the Year struck a firm shot against the outside of the post — and that was about as good as it got.
Dele Alli was sent off for two needless yellow cards.
The Spurs midfielder was cautioned for time wasting after his handshake with Eric Dier to celebrate winning a free-kick in a moderately threatening position lasted three and a half minutes.
As frustrations grew in the latter stages he kicked out at two Panama defenders (and Kyle Walker) before heading down the tunnel for an early bath.
Many fans online expressed their annoyance at the decision to start Jake Livermore ahead of the likes of Harry Winks and Adam Lallana.
Lee Satchell tweeted: “At least we actually scored against Iceland. Livermore wouldn’t get into Panama’s squad FFS”
And the atmosphere in the stadium hit an all-time low when Danny Sturridge pulled his hamstring when three seconds after being introduced as a substitute.
Panama set out with two banks of four with an additional spoiler in midfield and looked much improved from their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Belgium in their first game.
The unexpected 2-1 loss to Tunisia in their opening fixture means England have just one point to their name with one game to play.
A draw leaves England third in Group G, three points behind Tunisia and five points behind group leaders Belgium.
The Three Lions now need an unlikely win against Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne and co if they are to progress to the knockout stages — though they must also rely on Panama to beat Tunisia.