Radamel Falcao scored his first World Cup goal as Colombia got their tournament in Russian Federation up and running with an impressive 3-0 victory that ended a lacklustre Poland side's hopes of reaching the last 16.
Colombia gave themselves a fighting chance of reaching the next round of the 2018 World Cup courtesy of a commanding 3-0 victory over Poland in Group H at the Kazan Arena this evening.
Midfielder James Rodriguez, victor of the Golden Boot at the last World Cup, returned to the starting lineup after injury and played a part in two of the goals as Colombia got back on track after their opening loss to Japan.
It set the tone for a brilliant second-half performance where Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado scored to get their campaign back on track after they lost their opening game to Japan.
Colombia can not afford to dwell on regrets from its loss to Japan in their World Cup opener when facing Poland in a crucial second Group H match, midfielder Abel Aguilar says.
For Poland, who came to their first World Cup in 12 years as No 8 in the Federation Internationale de Football Association rankings and lost their opening game 2-1 against Senegal, the early exit will be a bitter pill to swallow.
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Yerry Mina nodded in James Rodriguez's cross shortly before half-time to put the South Americans ahead. Poland had huge support inside the Spartak Stadium and are the seeded team in Group H - but they were disappointing in all areas during their opening defeat by Senegal. From deep in his own half, Jan Bednarek's long ball found Robert Lewandowski, who showed good control to bring it down and shoot, but David Ospina rushed out and produced a good save with his chest.
"Our players played their best until the end of the game, but we lost to a very strong team and we must accept that".
"It's very important [to finish top] because this World Cup is hard".
The striker was seen as a frustrated figure for the majority of the game against Colombia and failed to deliver the goals that could have kept Poland alive.
A Colombia victory over the Africans in their final first-round match in Samara on Thursday would secure a spot in the last 16 and keep them on target to at least match their charge to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago.
Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.