Poland have been eliminated from the World Cup, beaten 3-0 by Colombia in Kazan. James Rodríguez and co will now qualify if they beat Senegal in their last match, turning round their position after the opening 2-1 defeat against Japan.
For Poland, who came to their first World Cup in 12 years as No 8 in the FIFA rankings and lost their opening game 2-1 against Senegal, the early exit will be a bitter pill to swallow. They offered little in this game, with Robert Lewandowski anonymous.
Colombia led 1-0 at half-time thanks to Yerry Mina’s towering header following a well-worked short corner.
Both sides knew defeat would spell the end of their World Cup hopes, but it was the South Americans who made all the running and deserved the lead given them in the 40th minute by Mina, who rose to head home a clever cross by Rodríguez.
Radamel Falcao doubled Colombia’s lead in the 70th minute, applying the clinical finish to a lovely team move. Juan Fernando Quintero’s inch-perfect pass played in the striker, who steered a low shot past Wojciech Szczesny with the outside of his right foot.
Another devastating move handed Colombia their third goal in the 75th minute. The South Americans won the ball in their own left-back position and Rodríguez took it away from two Poland players before playing a stunning low pass in to Juan Cuadrado breaking through the middle. The Juventus man kept his cool and finished low into the corner.
Group H concludes on Thursday, when Japan play Poland in Volgograd and Senegal play Colombia in Samara.