Published: Mon, June 25, 2018
Culture | By Glenn Strickland

Colombia cruise past Poland to keep World Cup hopes alive

Colombia cruise past Poland to keep World Cup hopes alive

Colombia coach Jose Pekerman dedicated a crucial 3-0 World Cup win over Poland to midfielder Carlos Sanchez on Sunday (June 24) after reports the midfielder received death threats for his red card against Japan.

Defender Yerry Mina opened the scoring in the 40th minute with captain Radamel Falcao and winger Juan Cuadrado sealing a deserved victory with two goals in five minutes as the desperate Poles chased the game in the last quarter.

Senegal and Japan face each other three hours earlier and a draw in that clash will mean loss by either Colombia or Poland would result in its elimination.

The respite was brief and on the next Colombia attack Juan Quintero found Rodriguez lurking inside the box and the midfielder chipped a delightful cross into the danger area for Mina to head the ball into the net from point-blank range.

Rodriguez played a pivotal role as Colombia boosted their chances of reaching the knockout stages with a 3-0 win.

However, Colombia hit the front five minutes before half-time as James combined well with Cuadrado and Quintero to deliver an inch-perfect cross for Mina to steer a towering header past Wojciech Szczesny. "We wanted to share this victory with him".

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"It's very important for us, for Colombia, but we have to continue in this way and fight until the end".

At club level, a move to Real Madrid after winning the Golden Boot at the 2014 World Cup seemed to herald the coming of a genuine superstar, perhaps even the leader of the group of players in the category behind the untouchables, Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Robert Lewandowski was the architect behind their unparalleled success in Group E after the Bayern Munich striker notched up 16 goals during qualifying that made him Europe's top-scorer in qualifying ahead of the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Romelu Lukaku.

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

In contrast, this was another disappointing display by Poland, who lost to Senegal in their group opener.

It evoked memories of the chilling murder of former Colombia player Andres Escobar, who was killed after his own goal led to defeat to the United States in the 1994 World Cup and Colombia's elimination from the tournament.

Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded.

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