Colombia boost World Cup last-16 hopes by eliminating Poland

25 June, 2018, 07:20 | Author: Heather Diaz
  • Roman crossed into the the US from Canada without realizing it as she ran along a beach

Quintero and the returning James Rodriguez were the stand-out players, collecting all three assists between them, and he accepted that their partnership could be key going forward.

Colombia, who reached the quarter-finals for the first time in Brazil four years ago before bowing out to the hosts, are in a similar situation after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Japan - they were forced to play with 10 men for nearly the entire game.

Colombia slowed the pace in the second half, showing good counterattacking qualities.

"Many things did not go as they should today, during this World Cup". Quintero came close in the 56th minute on the break, but his goal-bound shot took a deflection.

"I've seen the team energised since the Senegal game and when they're angry, they're more motivated to do even better", he said.

Robert Lewandowski's Poland lost their second match in a row and are in danger of being eliminated in the group stage.

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On loan from Real Madrid, Bayern Munich midfielder James Rodriguez was back in Colombia's starting XI after recovering from his calf injury.

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. Centre-back Mina rose to the challenge as he climbed highest to power a header beyond a helpless Wojciech Szczesny in the Poland goal.

The set-piece was sent short to Quintero who found James Rodriguez down the right side of the box, and he produced a skilfully chipped ball towards the back post. He formed an excellent partnership with Quintero to create some handsome play for Colombia.

Colombia's Yerry Mina scored the goal for Colombia in the do-or-die match against Poland.

The Poles manufactured a chance against the run of play a few minutes later. The team was overwhelmed in midfield and looked clueless in attack in another error-ridden display that resulted in an early exit.

Nawalka praised Jose Pekerman's team, but said their "individual and collective analysis" of the South Americans meant Poland, despite appearing in their first World Cup in 12 years, were destined to win. "The Colombian team was a much better team", Poland coach Adam Nawalka said.

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