Colombia breaks out, Poland knocked out of World Cup

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez came on as a substitute against Japan but failed to make an impact

Colombia brushed aside Poland 3-0 in Kazan on Sunday to boost their hopes of reaching the World Cup knockout stage as captain Radamel Falcao starred with a goal and an assist.

Robert Lewandowski said after Poland were eliminated from the World Cup with a 3-0 defeat to Colombia that his side lacked the quality needed to progress, admitting "it's not like we lost by a whisker". That had to have felt good for the Colombian attacker after he missed the 2014 World Cup due to injury.

Bayern Munich star James then found Juan Cuadrado late on, wrapping up a comfortable win for Colombia and leaving Nawalka with hard questions to answer.

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.

The win for Colombia sees them on three points in Group H, placed third behind Japan and Senegal, who have four points each.

"We knew Colombia is a very hard and unsafe opponent and in their squad they have very good players from well-known clubs".

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Belgium and England clash next Thursday in their final Group G match in Kaliningrad in a contest likely to decide the pool victor .

"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 want, and we want, to share it with him", he said.

Asked why he was so sure, Nawalka said Poland had carried out detailed analysis of their opponents, but what was more important was what his own team would do on the pitch.

Poland pushed forward to try and get back into the game and five minutes later were caught on the break by the Colombians with Rodriguez rasping a pass across the field to allow Cuadrado fitting reward for a fine performance. The lively Quintero threaded a defence-splitting pass to Falcao, who rolled back the years with a delightful low finish with the outside of his right boot.

After two defensive lapses against Senegal led to a 2-1 defeat in their opener, the Poles looked second-best by miles all night against Colombia and talismanic striker Lewandowski summed it up with his nonchalant comments after the defeat to Los Cafeteros at the Kazan Arena.

Southgate added: 'He probably needs to add goals to his game to become a more complete midfield player I'd say'.

Four years after Radamel Falcao was supposed to lead Colombia at the World Cup, he's doing just that.

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