Colombia cruise past Poland to keep World Cup hopes alive

Posted June 25, 2018

Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday (Jun 24). In the match, Colombia's Carlos Sanchez was sent off in the third minute with the second-fastest red card in World Cup history to set the tone for the rest of the game.

It was Yerry Mina who opened the scoring with a superb header in the 40th minute on a attractive cross from James to set the ball rolling for the South Americans, who scored three in the last 45 minutes to seal Poland's fate.

Group H concludes on Thursday, when Japan play Poland in Volgograd and Senegal play Colombia in Samara.

Colombia, who reached the quarter-finals for the first time in Brazil four years ago before bowing out to the hosts, are in a similar situation after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan - they were forced to play with 10 men for nearly the entire game.

Poland's offensive tactics were limited to launching long balls towards Lewandowski and although Colombia were trying to play the ball on the floor, they could not get their passes to stick.

The 29-year-old striker has averaged nearly a goal a game for Bayern in the past three seasons, and 57 percent of Poland's goals in World Cup qualifying came from the Warsaw native.

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"We lost against a very strong team and this is what we have to accept", said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.

"It's very important [to finish top] because this World Cup is hard". The lively Quintero threaded a defence-splitting pass to Falcao, who rolled back the years with a delightful low finish with the outside of his right boot.

In contrast, this was another disappointing display by Poland, who lost to Senegal in their group opener.

Southgate added: 'He probably needs to add goals to his game to become a more complete midfield player I'd say'.

After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.

While Poland next game against Japan will be to save their pride, only a win would propel Colombia into the knockout stages. "So we fought, we tried to do our best, but at the moment we could not do anything more", the prolific Bayern Munich striker told Polish TV.