2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™

14 June - 15 July

Russia 2018

Colombia's second-half surge sends Poland packing

Colombia secured an important 3-0 (1-0) victory to leave their Group H fate in their own hands, while Poland’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ adventure will come to an end after the group stage.

Both teams came into this match under pressure after suffering defeats in their respective openers. The tension was palpable, with both sides starting tentatively and neither wanting to fall behind in front of a sell-out crowd of 42,837 at the Kazan Arena. The first real chance came in the 40th minute, when the consistently lively James Rodriguez crossed the ball into the penalty area for Yerry Mina to nod home.

The Biało-czerwoni were forced to throw caution to the wind in the second half, creating counterattacking space for their South American opponents in the process. The best opportunity for an equaliser fell to Robert Lewandowski, but his close-range effort was denied by the onrushing David Ospina. In the 70th minute Juan Quintero played a dream pass to Falcao, who stroked the ball past Wojciech Szczesny with the outside of his boot to double Colombia’s advantage. Juan Cuadrado made it 3-0 just a few minutes later to put the result beyond doubt, courtesy of another assist from James.

Team reporter analysis
Piotr Kozminski, Poland [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]​
Another game, another disappointing result for Poland. Although Adam Nawalka’s side played as aggressively as they did against Senegal, it was not enough. The absence of defensive linchpin Kamil Glik through injury has had a major impact on the team. The White and Reds also lacked options up front, with Robert Lewandowski frequently finding himself isolated. Just like in 2002 and 2006, where they also failed to win their opening matches, Poland were once again unable to qualify for the Round of 16 here in Russia.

Alejandra Rueda, Colombia [Follow: Twitter | Facebook]
Having ridden out an intense first half, Colombia were able to play on the break after taking the lead, with their pacy wingers repeatedly venturing forward to create new goalscoring opportunities. While Juan Cuadrado kept Poland’s players on their toes down the right wing, Brazil 2014 star James Rodriguez stole the show with two assists. Jose Pekerman’s men sparked their World Cup campaign into life today.

Budweiser Man of the Match
James Rodriguez dazzled with two assists to steer Los Cafeteros to victory. The Colombia No10 was consistently available and always had a plan when on the ball, while his finesse and trickery elicited applause from the crowd on more than one occasion.

The stat
20 – Today’s match was Colombia’s 20th at a FIFA World Cup. While they lost 2-1 when making their competition debut against Uruguay in Chile on 30 May 1962, today’s game ended in victory – the first time they have won a World Cup match in blue shirts.

What’s next?
Japan v Poland - Group H, 28 June, Volgograd
Senegal v Colombia - Group H, 28 June, Samara

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