Colombia not only blew out Poland on Sunday afternoon, 3-0, but the Tricolors also eliminated offered some clarity in the race for the group’s two spots in the knockout stage. Poland, the highest-ranked team by FIFA entering the tournament, is eliminated. That leaves Colombia (three points) with a much improved chance to advance along with either Senegal or Japan (four points each).
After a disastrous start against Japan last week, Colombia got exactly what it needed against Poland on Sunday: A big win led by its talented offensive trio: Radamel Falcao, James Rodríguez and Juan Cuadrado.
Rodríguez, who only played 30 minutes in Colombia’s opener against Japan because of a calf strain, created the first goal with a well-placed chip that found Yerry Mina, and then followed that up with a stunning assist on Colombia’s third goal, playing a perfect pass to give Cuadrado an easy run straight to the goal.
Falcao produced the crucial second goal in the 70th minute to take the pressure off Colombia, finally getting on the scoresheet at a World Cup.
The result put Colombia back on track to make it out of the group, though they are still in third behind Japan and Senegal after their draw earlier on Sunday.
Poland’s World Cup will end after the group stage, as two losses means it has no hope of advancing. It’s a disappointing end for a squad led by one of the world’s most potent strikers in Robert Lewandowski, but he was unable to sufficiently lift Poland in two underwhelming games in Russia.