Colombia blanks Poland in must-win clash

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

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

Lewandowski might cringe when he sees that tweet again, but there was no ill feeling between him and Rodriguez as Colombia's talisman embraced a gutted Lewandowski at full-time.

Influential defender Glik missed Poland's opening match against Senegal due to a shoulder injury.

The South Americans go into the final game knowing a win against Senegal will book them a place in the last 16.

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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". Colombia have three points and play Senegal on Thursday knowing victory could secure top spot.

Yerry Mina scored the first goal in the 40th and Juan Cuadrado completed the win in the 75th. Colombia have won only two of their nine previous World Cup games against Poland.

"We were playing under the pressure of having to win and there could be no mistakes", said Colombia coach Jose Pekerman.

It was a much improved performance by Colombia following the disappointing 2-1 defeat by Japan in their Group H opener and will give their fans hope they can at least match their run to the quarter-finals in 2014.

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Radamel Falcao doubled Colombia's lead in the 70th minute, applying the clinical finish to a lovely team move.

The way they opened up the Polish defence for the killer second goal was fantastic, Quintero accepting a low ball from the right side with the softest of touches before delivering a flawless pass for Falcao to slip beyond Wojciech Szczesny with the outside of his boot.

Besides scoring, Mina was also excellent in containing Lewandowski throughout the match. "The team played as a unit in all its segments and the football emerged from this unity".

Poland has now failed to keep a clean sheet in its last 10 World Cup matches, since beating Portugal 1-0 in 1986.

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