James Rodriguez, Colombia Eliminate Poland from World Cup with 3-0 Win

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist IJune 24, 2018

Colombia's forward Juan Cuadrado (2ndL) celebrates with teammates after scoring their third goal during the Russia 2018 World Cup Group H football match between Poland and Colombia at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on June 24, 2018. (Photo by SAEED KHAN / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS        (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
SAEED KHAN/Getty Images

Colombia beat Poland 3-0 on Sunday in Group H at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia thanks to goals from Yerry Mina, Radamel Falcao and Juan Cuadrado.  

The result means Colombia remain in contention to qualify for the last 16 of the tournament, while Poland have been eliminated.


Quintero Emerges as Colombia's Star Man Alongside James

Juan Fernando Quintero and James Rodriguez turned on the style as Colombia produced some superb attacking football to see off Poland.

Manager Jose Pekerman adopted an attacking approach for the match by starting both players, and the two dovetailed well to cause Poland all sorts of problems.

The match was James' first start of the World Cup after he was only a substitute in their opening game because of injury, but he put in a sparkling display and chipped in with two assists.

The Bayern Munich man set up Colombia's opening goal with a glorious chipped cross, after a great ball from Quintero, which allowed Mina to thump a header past goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

The second was a pass curled into the path of Cuadrado, who raced through and fired past Szczesny to make it 3-0.

Squawka Football showed his record at international level:

Quintero also appears to have taken a shine to the World Cup, and his clever use of the ball was a feature of the first half.

Selecao Brasileira explained the impact he had:

Quintero set up Falcao for Colombia's second goal with a defence-splitting pass that sent the striker clean through on goal.

The win has given Colombia's hopes of qualifying for the knockout stages a huge boost, and in James and Quintero, they have two creative players capable of lighting up the tournament.


Barcelona Should Think Twice About Selling Yerry Mina

Barcelona defender Mina came into the team and opened the scoring with a fine header for his first World Cup goal.

Sports journalist Robbie Dunne offered his view of the goal:

The 23-year-old also put in a solid performance in defence, as Bayern Munich goal machine Robert Lewandowski had few sights of goal and suffered another frustrating evening.

Scouted Football highlighted his international record:

It was a strong outing from Mina, whose club future is uncertain. He could be sold by Barcelona this summer despite only arriving at the club in January, per Mundo Deportivo (h/t Football Espana).

Barcelona need to sell Mina to free up a non-EU spot for midfielder Arthur, who is expected to arrive, according to the report in Mundo Deportivo.

The club are also expected to bring in Clement Lenglet from Sevilla, according to Sport (h/t Sport Witness). If the defender were to arrive, it would only lessen Mina's chances of first-team football.

Mina has barely had a chance to prove himself at Barcelona and has made just six appearances for the club.

One of his few chances to impress was in the 5-4 defeat to Levante when he put in a poor display, and the club's hopes of going through the entire La Liga season unbeaten ended.

It's unfair to judge Mina on his Barcelona career so far, as he arrived midway through the season and has had to adjust to a new league and a new club.

His performance on Sunday proved he has the talent to play on the world stage, and Barcelona should think twice about letting him go this summer.


Lewandowski Continues to Hurt Potential Summer Move

Lewandowski had a poor game for Poland, and the defeat means it's an early exit for the Bayern Munich star on his World Cup debut.

The 29-year-old did have a good chance to score for Poland but could not beat David Ospina in the Colombia goal.

Damian Spellman of the Press Association offered his view on the striker:

Lewandowski is yet to score at the World Cup, and his performances will not have helped his chances of a summer move away from Bayern.

His agent, Pini Zahavi, said in May that Lewandowski "feels that he needs a change and a new challenge in his career," per Sport Bild (h/t Mark Lovell at ESPN FC).

Bayern Munich will not want to sell Lewandowski, as he is one of the biggest assets and is a prolific goalscorer in the Bundesliga.

It would take a huge sum for Bayern to part with Lewandowski, and given his ineffectual performances at the World Cup, any interested clubs can be forgiven for having second thoughts about the striker.


What's Next

The final round of fixtures in Group H take place on Thursday. Poland face Japan at the Volgograd Arena, while Colombia take on Senegal in Samara.


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