Poland vs. Colombia preview, players to watch, key stats

Poland vs. Colombia preview, players to watch, key stats

Poland vs. Colombia preview, players to watch, key stats

Colombia keep their hopes of qualifying from Group H at the 2018 World Cup alive courtesy of a commanding 3-0 victory over eliminated Poland at the Kazan Arena.

Radamel Falcao's first World Cup goal led Colombia to a 3-0 victory over Poland on Sunday (Monday NZT) and kept the team in the running for a spot in the knockout round.

And days after a calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best in an ultra-offensive line-up that gave Radamel Falcao his long-awaited maiden World Cup goal and Juan Cuadrado Colombia's third of the evening.

Yerry Mina scored the first goal in the 40th and Juan Cuadrado completed the win in the 75th.

After Colombia and Poland lost opening matches to Japan and Senegal, respectively, Sunday's match was a must-win - a draw wouldn't have done much for either side.

Yerry Mina nodded in James Rodriguez's cross shortly before half-time to put the South Americans ahead.

Colombia settled well early in the match and dominated possession but they struggled to create clear opportunities in the opening minutes.

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.

"It's very important [to finish top] because this World Cup is hard".

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

Robert Lewandowski, making his World Cup debut in Russian Federation, struggled with a lack of service throughout, the Bayern Munich striker going closest in the final few minutes when a long-range effort was tipped over by David Ospina.

Quintero played creator in the 70th minute and Falcao turned the last defender before stroking the ball past Szczesny with the outside of his boot for his first World Cup strike. Cuadrado collected the pass and rushed toward the box, timing his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

There will be a weight of expectation on his shoulders when Colombia face Senegal in their final group game on Thursday.

However, Poland have had serious issues while going forward ever since they landed in Russian Federation and Lewandowski, who averaged a goal every 56 minutes in qualifying, has not opened his account for the tournament after more than 180 minutes of playing time.

The Poles manufactured a chance against the run of play a few minutes later.

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