Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal as Colombia got their tournament in Russian Federation up and running with an impressive 3-0 victory that ended a lacklustre Poland side's hopes of reaching the last 16.

- Quintero became the first Colombian player to score in two World Cup tournaments (2014 and '18) in the opening loss to Japan.

Goals from Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado capped off a destructive showing from Jose Pekerman's side, whose victory also means that Poland find themselves eliminated from the tournament with a game still to be played.

Colombia faces Senegal on June 28 in the final round of matches in Group H, while Poland plays Japan.

This time around, the No. 10 comes into the clash against Poland off the back of a left calf injury and some indifferent form, but with Colombia falling 2-1 to Japan in its opening Group H game, he's in line to start, following his 30 minutes against the Asian side last Tuesday.

Rodriguez's short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a flawless left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes. Robert Lewandowski was the architect behind their unparalleled success in Group E after the Bayern Munich striker notched up 16 goals during qualifying that made him Europe's top-scorer in qualifying ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.

The 47-year-old told the BBC: 'Ruben is a very good ball player, everybody can see his physical size but he has got lovely soft feet.

"They were seen as one of the favourite teams coming into the World Cup, so I'm expecting a very hard match, a very intense match".

"I'm very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow's another day and we have to come to terms with things", said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.

Radamel Falcao doubled Colombia's lead in the 70th minute, applying the clinical finish to a lovely team move. Cuadrado collected the pass and rushed toward the box, timing his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. "I want, and we want, to share it with him", he said.

Rodriguez has now been directly involved in nine goals in seven World Cup appearances for Colombia, scoring six and assisting on three.

Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.

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