To speak of England winning the World Cup had become slightly preposterous, and the preserve only of the more fanatical patriot.
"In Volgograd and Nizhny Novgorod everything was great".
In Russia, England has been trying to cast aside the negativity of the past while remolding the image of the team on and off the field. The joy and togetherness in the squad - the second-youngest in Russian Federation - becomes clear in the goal celebrations.
But those concerns disappeared when John Stones headed in from Kieran Trippier's corner. It wasn't Kane on the end this time but Stones, who was left unmarked to score his first global goal.
Two of Kane's goals came from the penalty spot and the third via his heel.
Lingard did get on the scoresheet in the 36th with the pick of the goals.
Stones then grabbed his second goal of the game with a header from close range after an impressively rehearsed set-play routine.
Playing from the off with an ease and trickery that contrasted with the stressed-looking England flops of recent global tournaments, Gareth Southgate's team romped into a remarkable 5-0 lead at halftime. Kane scored another penalty just before halftime.
TSN soccer analyst Terry Dunfield said he thinks the English side could be primed to break out in a big way Sunday if they can keep the pressure and pace on Panama.