Sunday June 24 2018
World Cup: Colombia knock Poland out

Poland’s World Cup campaign is already over, as they were beaten 3-0 by Colombia with Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado on target.

As Senegal and Japan drew 2-2 earlier today, the final matches mean any of those three can still qualify and even top the group.

Both sides desperately needed a win after surprisingly poor starts to the tournament, as 10-man Colombia lost to Japan and Poland capitulated to Senegal. Several changes were made, as Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik dropped to the bench, with Sampdoria’s Dawid Kownacki and Bartosz Bereszynski stepping in, Piotr Zielinski in a more advanced role and a switch to three at the back. Carlos Sanchez was suspended after his red card.

It was a high-tempo and intense game, but with few genuine goal-scoring opportunities. Los Cafeteros saw Aguilar stretchered off, then Juventus winger Juan Cuarado went on a mazy run and tested his club teammate Wojciech Szczesny at the near post.

Colombia eventually broke through after a corner, as James Rodriguez stood up a ball for Yerry Mina’s towering header.

It took Poland until the 58th minute of their second game to get a shot on target in this World Cup, Robert Lewandowski controlling a long ball as David Ospina came racing out to parry.

However, ex-Pescara talent Juan Fernando Quintero’s sublime through ball off the outside of the foot allowed Radamel Falcao to spring the offside trap and beat Szczesny with a classy finish.

It got even worse for Poland, as Cuadrado turned on the turbo to sprint from the centre-circle on to an inspired James Rodriguez pass and prodded into the near bottom corner past Szczesny.

Ex-Torino defender Kamil Glik, whose very presence in the tournament was in doubt due to injury, came off the bench in the final minutes and Ospina denied Grzegorz Krychowiak before Mateus Uribe almost scored with a back-heel flick.

Ospina still had time for an acrobatic fingertip save on Lewandowski's long-range missile.

Poland 0-3 Colombia

Yerry Mina 39 (C), Falcao 70 (C), Cuadrado 75 (C)

Poland: Szczesny; Piszczek, Benarek, Pazdan (Glik 80); Bereszynski (Teodorczyk 72), Krychowiak, Goralski, Rybus; Zielinski, Lewandowski, Kownacki (Grosicki 57)

Colombia: Ospina; Arias, D Sanchez, Y Mina, J Mojica; Aguilar (Uribe 31), Barrios; Cuadrado, Quintero (Lerma 73), James; Falcao (Bacca 78)

Ref: Ramos (MEX)