Poland became the latest team to get knocked out of this year's FIFA World Cup after their 3-0 humbling at the hands of Colombia in the Group H encounter at the Kazan Arena. Falcao missed the tournament in Brazil with a knee injury and had to wait until arriving in Russian Federation to score his first World Cup goal.
Colombia's players celebrate at the end of the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group H football match between Poland and Colombia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 24, 2018.
The victory puts Colombia in third place in the group on three points behind the Japanese and Senegal, who shared a 2-2 draw earlier on Sunday to move to four points apiece.
After a quiet spell in the clash, Yerry Mina finally broke the deadlock for Colombia five minutes before the break with a clinical header inside the box following a teasing cross from James Rodriguez, 0-1.
"We knew Colombia is a very hard and risky opponent and in their squad they have very good players from well-known clubs".
The 29-year-old striker has averaged nearly a goal a game for Bayern in the past three seasons, and 57 percent of Poland's goals in World Cup qualifying came from the Warsaw native.
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Quintero proved the architect with a sublime through-ball, allowing Falcao to break free and prod a clever finish into the bottom corner. "We wanted to counter and play fast, but they played better".
"I was alone, we fought, I fought, I did everything I could, but fighting is not enough to win World Cup matches, you also have to have quality and we had too little of that".
Poland began to fade as the first half wore on and some standout play from Juan Fernando Quintero and Cuadrado set Santiago Arias away into space on the right, but the full-back saw his cross turned away by Michal Pazdan at the near post.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Colombia is still alive ahead of its final match against Senegal and can still win the group, while Poland can only hurt Japan's chances of advancement.
Their offensive play on Sunday appeared limited to launching long balls towards Lewandowski, who often had to fall back in the hope of receiving more service.