Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

Colombia's World Cup campaign roared back into life with a thumping 3-0 victory over Poland on Sunday which delivered a warning to their rivals and sent the disappointing Poles tumbling out of the tournament.

The victory kept Colombia in the running for a spot in the round of 16 and knocked out Poland, the first European country to be eliminated.

Falcao, who missed the 2014 World Cup because of a knee injury, made it 2-0 with a 70th-minute goal.

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.

Those respective hopes suffered huge blows when Poland were beaten by Senegal and Colombia lost to Japan in the Group H openers and another defeat for either country is likely to be the end of their road in Russian Federation.

Poland can not now catch either Japan or Senegal, who have four points from two games.

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Mina out-jumped the Poland defence to head in the opening goal from James Rodriguez's cross, rewarding a spell of domination by the Colombians. Colombia will next face Senegal on Thursday in Samara with a chance to win the group, while Poland will play Japan in Volgograd. Cuadrado collected the pass and rushed toward the box, timing his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

It helped that they always had an outlet, with Falcao working superbly in the channels and Juan Cuadrado hugging the right touchline to force wing-back Maciej Rybus into his own half with regularity.

"I was alone, we fought, I fought, I did everything I could, but fighting is not enough to win World Cup matches, you also have to have quality and we had too little of that". He formed an excellent partnership with Quintero to create some attractive play for Colombia.

The team was overwhelmed in midfield and looked clueless in attack in another error-ridden display that resulted in an early exit.

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.

"Tonight practically we used all our forces that were available when it comes to our offensive playing", Poland coach Adam Nawalka told reporters.

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