Colombia v Poland player ratings

James Rodriguez

James Rodriguez

With the Eagles on the ropes, Colombia sought to confirm three points as they pressed for a second and it arrived with 20 minutes left to play.

Japan and Senegal, who both picked up wins in their first games, drew 2-2 earlier on June 24 and are in a battle with Colombia to qualify for the knockout stage.

And speaking prior to England's contest with Panama, Southgate labelled Loftus-Cheek a "very good ball player" despite his strong physical appearance.

"But we're not going to go insane, mentally we're in a good place but we need to continue to improve because we are ambitious and we want to continue in this World Cup as we hoped".

And days after a calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best in an ultra-offensive line-up that gave Radamel Falcao his long-awaited maiden World Cup goal and Juan Cuadrado Colombia's third of the evening. Cuadrado collected the pass and rushed toward the box, timing his shot perfectly to beat goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

Colombia gradually settled in, though, with Quintero providing attacking width and Cuadrado proving risky with his subtle moves on the edge of the box.

FIFA WC: Senegal Beat Poland 2-1
Their previous showing was in 2002 when they beat defending champions France on the way to reaching the quarter-finals. Poland take on Senegal in a Group H clash to get their respective World Cup campaigns kicked off.

And while Poland struggled to create in attack, aside from some late chances, Colombia was dominant, cutting through a poor back line time and time again to set a statement. Quintero came close in the 56th minute on the break, but his goal-bound shot took a deflection.

Poland will face Japan in their final match, with the Asian side still chasing a spot in the next round.

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. He pressed relentlessly, tracked back and delivered an assist for Mina. He formed an excellent partnership with Quintero to create some attractive play for Colombia.

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.

Poland played well for 15 minutes but then faded. "The Colombian team was a much better team", Poland coach Adam Nawalka said.

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