Crystal Palace 1-3 West Ham United: Sam’s Hammers score freely (video)

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Mauro Zarate, Stewart Downing and Carlton Cole scored as West Ham United walked into Selhurst Park and came away with a 3-1 win over Crystal Palace.

Marouane Chamakh scored early in the second half before Cole provided an insurance marker in West Ham’s second London derby in as many weeks.

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West Ham moves up the table, while a troubled Palace slips to the bottom of the table.

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A 21st minute incident saw Zarate miss the ball and land squarely across Stuart O’Keefe, who hobbled off despite no call.

West Ham had four of the game’s first five corners, and came close to scoring when Cheikhou Kouyate’s header was snared by Julian Speroni in the 26th minute.

Zarate then murdered a beautiful through ball from Ricardo Vaz Te, and there was little question after the first half-hour as to who should be in the lead.

And West Ham got their deserved lead when Zarate buried a rebound with a volley from distance to make it 1-0 in the 34th minute. Downing doubled the lead three minutes later when he dribbled in from the right wing before sending a left-footed shot past Speroni.

Marouane Chamakh made it interesting in the 48th minute, as his outside shot tore through the 18 and past Adrian. It was much better looking than his bizarre, spotty hairstyle, and Palace were within one.

But Carlton Cole made no mistake when a chested clearance fell to him in the 62nd minute, making the advantage 3-1 to West Ham.

Speroni saved a fourth goal with a diving tip of a 77th minute Diafra Sakho header.

Lineups

Crystal Palace: Speroni, Kelly, Hangeland, Delaney, Ward, Bannan (Williams, 71′), Jedinak, Bolasie, O’Keefe (Murray, 83′), Chamakh, Campbell (Gayle, 70′)

Goals: Chamakh (48)

West Ham United: Adrian; O’Brien, Tomkins, Reid, Cresswell; Noble, Kouyate, Downing (Diame, 90′), Zarate (Poyet, 83′), Vaz Te; Cole (Sakho, 68′)

Goals: Zarate (34), Downing (37), Cole (62)

VIDEO: Tunisia equalizes on controversial penalty kick

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England centerback Kyle Walker put his arm up to halt the forward progress of Fakhreddine Ben Youssef. Unfortunately for Walker, Ben Youssef was in the box and Walker’s elbow caught Ben Youssef’s face.

Referee Wilmar Roldan quickly whistled for a penalty kick and despite the protests from a half-dozen of England players and a check from the VAR, the called stood. Ferjani Sassi’stepped up to the spot and found the lower-left corner, just barely beating Jordan Pickford to tie the game in the 35th minute.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news

How will England respond?

VIDEO: Captain Kane puts England on the board early

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It may be the easiest goal-scoring opportunity Harry Kane‘s ever had in an international competition, and he finished it as easy as you’d like.

Kane side-footed home after Tunisia goalkeeper Mouez Hassen made a terrific save on John Stone’s header off a corner, but the save was directed right into a wide-open Kane who was standing ready inside the six yard box. The 11th minute goal will surely settle some of the Three Lions’ nerves as they open their World Cup bid in Russia.

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After slow start, Belgium takes care of business against feisty Panama

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All it took was one goal to bring Belgium to life.

Following a frustrating first 45 minutes, in which Belgium put a pair of shots into the side netting and forced saves from Panama goalkeeper Jaime Penedo, Dries Mertens 47th minute goal opened the floodgates, as Belgium went on to defeat Panama, 3-0, Monday afternoon in Sochi.

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But Panama never made it easy for the Belgians. From the opening whistle the CONCACAF nation showed its incredible spirit, chasing down Belgium all across the field and making life incredibly difficult for Belgium attackers Romelu Lukaku, Mertens and Eden Hazard. Hazard was hacked down all over the field, and while he did earn fouls and a few yellow cards were issued to Panamanian players, it was enough to get in Hazard’s head.

Two minutes into the second half, everything changed. A wonderstrike from Mertens opened the game, and forced Panama to attack and try and tie the match, which gave Hazard, de Bruyne and Lukaku more space to operate.

In the heat and humidity of the Sochi summer, Panama’s veteran defense began to tire, allowing de Bruyne the space to deliver a terrific assist to Lukaku in the box, putting Belgium up 2-0 in the 69th minute.

 

Six minutes later, Lukaku was put through on the break, chipping over Penedo to confirm the victory.

With the win, Belgium moves to the top of Group G. Up next for Belgium is Tunisia on Saturday, while Panama takes on England on Sunday.

VIDEO: de Bruyne delivers gorgeous assist on Lukaku goal

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It took a little bit of patience, but Romelu Lukaku finally got on the scoresheet at the 2018 World Cup, thanks to a delicious assist from crosstown club rival Kevin De Bruyne.

The Manchester City playmaker delivered a spectacular outside-of-the-boot cross into the box, where Lukaku’s head met it and guided it towards the far post for Belgium’s second goal of the day.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news