Colombia cruise past Poland to keep World Cup hopes alive

James Rodriguez

Colombia thrashed Poland 3-0 in their second group encounter of the FIFA World Cup 2018, at the Kazan Arena in Kazan to take all three points.

Colombia gave themselves a fighting chance of reaching the next round of the 2018 World Cup courtesy of a commanding 3-0 victory over Poland in Group H at the Kazan Arena this evening.

Defender Yerry Mina opened the scoring in the 40th minute with captain Radamel Falcao and winger Juan Cuadrado sealing a deserved victory with two goals in five minutes as the desperate Poles chased the game in the last quarter.

Poland entered the World Cup ranked highest of the four teams in Group H at eighth but ended up being the first team out of contention for the knockouts with a lacklustre performance in their first two matches.

For Poland, who came to their first World Cup in 12 years as No 8 in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and lost their opening game 2-1 against Senegal, the early exit will be a bitter pill to swallow.

Nawalka praised Jose Pekerman's team, but said their "individual and collective analysis" of the South Americans meant Poland, despite appearing in their first World Cup in 12 years, were destined to win. "I think the fact that he scored was very important, not just for today but for the matches to come".

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Football fans have brutally reminded Robert Lewandowski of a tweet he sent to his Bayern Munich team-mate James Rodriguez in December of a year ago about the upcoming World Cup.

"Our players did their best until the end of the game".

Poland began to fade as the first half wore on and some standout play from Juan Fernando Quintero and Cuadrado set Santiago Arias away into space on the right, but the full-back saw his cross turned away by Michal Pazdan at the near post. Adam Nawalka's men were completely outplayed on the night by a determined Colombian side who finally kick-started their campaign with a thumping win, after losing to Japan in their opening game.

Their offensive play on Sunday appeared limited to launching long balls towards Lewandowski, who often had to fall back in the hope of receiving more service.

Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.

The match started to a barrage of noise from the yellow-shirted Colombian fans and the early exchanges were frenetic with Poland putting in some physical challenges and Robert Lewandowski getting close attention from the Colombian defence.

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