As it happened: Poland eliminated as Colombia keep dream alive
Poland were completely outclassed by Colombia, as Falcao outshone Lewandowski in a vital battle.

As it happened: Poland eliminated as Colombia keep dream alive

Ewan Kingsbury
PolandSzczesny, Piszczek, Bednarek, Pazdan (Glik 80'), Bereszynski (Teodorczyk 72'), Krychowiak, Goralski, Rybus, Zielinski, Lewandowski, Kownacki (Grosicki 57').
ColombiaOspina, Arias, Mina, D. Sanchez, Mojica, Aguilar (Uribe 32'), Barrios, Ju. Cuadrado, Quintero (Lerma 73'), Rodriguez, Falcao (Bacca 78').
SCOREMINA 40' (0-1), FALCAO 70' (0-2), CUADRADO 76' (0-3)
REFEREECésar Arturo Ramos Palazuelos (MEX). Booked: Bednarek, Goralski (POL)
INCIDENTSWorld Cup Group H game between Poland and Colombia in the Kazan Arena in Kazan, Russia.
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I've been Ewan Kingsbury, and thank you for reading my live commentary for VAVEL UK. Be sure to look out for the match report coming up soon, and I'll see you next time. 

Colombia fully deserved all three points today, and it is clear to see why Poland are going home. A massive game is ahead for the South Americans on Thursday as they look to move on to the knockout phase. 

Poland exit the 2018 World Cup with a game to spare. They face Japan on Thursday at 3PM, at the same time Senegal take on Colombia for a place in the Round of 16. 


90+1: Shouts of 'Ole' ring around the Kazan Arena as Colombia pass around the back.

90: The fourth official has indicated that there will be five additional minutes at the end of the second half. 

82: Ospina is in trouble yet again in this game but with all three Colombian substitutes made, he will have to soldier on. 

80: Poland in deep trouble now and although Falcao has been withdrawn, this could get embarrassing. Colombia won't stop and will want to build momentum for their next game against Senegal. 

76: It's my dangerman, Juan Cuadrado with the goal. He races through on goal and again, just like Falcao, slots past Szczesny in the Poland net. What a cross-field ball from James Rodriguez. 3-0.


70: Unbelievable goal by Falcao! Quintero threads the needle through to the Monaco striker, who settles himself before poking past Szczesny. It's hard to see a way back for Poland here. 


65: Both sides going through the motions at the moment, neither creating much and the ball staying mostly in the middle third of the pitch. 

58: LEWANDOWSKI WITH A BIG CHANCE! A long ball falls to the Bayern forward who touches it down before lashing towards goal, but Ospina is equal to the shot. 

55: Poland trying a lot harder to create than they were in the first half. Perhaps the realisation has set in for them. 

52: Cuadrado has the pace to run away from the Polish defence but takes a poor touch forcing him to come back to Falcao, who skews his shot wide from the edge of the box. 

46: We are back underway in Kazan. 

An intriguing half of football which Colombia looked more and more in control of as time wore on. Poland created nothing of note despite having one of Europe's most lethal strikers in Robert Lewandowski, and deservedly go into the break trailing. If this result stays the same, Poland will be eliminated from the 2018 World Cup. 


45: The fourth official has indicated that there will be four minutes added time at the end of the first half. 

43: Colombia now seem content to just pass casually around the statuesque Poland. The Eastern Europeans have struggled to keep the ball and fashion opportunities, and they deserve to head into the break 1-0 down. 

40: It's 1-0 on the stroke of half-time and the goal comes from a short corner which gives James Rodriguez space to find an inch-perfect ball to the head of Yerry Mina, who nods home from close range - and the colourful Colombians around the ground explode.


37: And as if by magic, Cuadrado picks the ball up from Rodriguez and produces some lovely skill to beat two Polish defenders, before trying to find the net with a low shot. Szczesny (just) makes his first save of the evening.

33: Juan Cuadrado is looking like the dangerman in this game. If anything is going to happen for Colombia in this first half, it will be him that orchestrates it. 

31: Aguilar is going to have to come off for Colombia, and the midfielder will be replaced by Mateus Uribe. Neither goalkeeper has had a save to make as of yet. 

28: Lewandowski struggling to make the ball stick up front for Poland. Falcao, his opposite number, is looking sharp and lively and is the target of many crosses from the right. 

23: What a passage of play from Colombia. Falcao, Arias, Rodriguez, and Cuadrado all combine on the right wing yet again but Arias' cross is straight into the first man at Poland's front post. 

20: Falcao has a golden opportunity to release Rodriguez on the right but instead plays a tame pass straight to the feet of a Poland defender - what a waste. 

14: Most of Colombia's play seems to be going through Cuadrado and Rodriguez on the right. On this occasion, the Juventus midfielder runs out of options and launches a hopeful cross into the box - easily dealt with by Bednarek. 

9: Colombia get their first real run at the Poland goal, and the masses in yellow around the ground erupt. The chance comes to nothing, but this game has started at a very promising tempo. 

5: Poland dominating most of the early possession, working the ball well inside the Colombian half - but both sides are yet to fashion a real opportunity. Break in play as David Ospina goes down injured after an innocuous collision with Kownacki. 

1: Great atmosphere in Kazan, although the crowd is dominated by 30,000 Colombian fans. Brilliant support from the South Americans, considering the distances involved. 

1900: The formalities are all finished, and it is Poland who will get us underway in their white shirts against Colombia in their blue shirts. 

1854: It's national anthem time, we will have Poland's "Mazurek Dąbrowskiego", followed by Colombia's "¡Oh gloria inmarcesible!".

1852: The teams are in the tunnel and are ready to emerge.

1845: The players have completed their warm-ups and are receiving final instructions in the dressing rooms. Just 15 minutes until kick-off in Kazan.


1837: Just a reminder that if Poland or Colombia lose today, they will be eliminated from the 2018 World Cup with a game to spare. That tells you all you need to know about the importance of this evening's clash in Kazan. 

1820: Jan Bednarek replaces Thiago Cionek at the back in the continued absence of Kamil Glik. Bartosz Bereszynski and David Kownacki come into the line-up as Poland look to avoid an early World Cup exit. 

1815: James Rodriguez comes in as expected for Colombia, joining Yerry Mina, Wilmar Barrious and Abel Aguilar in the line up as manager Jose Pekerman makes four personnel changes to get Los Cafeteros to the knockout stages.

Colombia team to face Poland: Ospina, Arias, Mina, D. Sanchez, Mojica, Aguilar, Barrios, Ju. Cuadrado, Quintero, Rodriguez, Falcao.

Poland team to face Colombia: Szczesny, Piszczek, Bednarek, Pazdan, Bereszynski, Krychowiak, Goralski, Rybus, Zielinski, Lewandowski,  Kownacki.

1753: Well, it has finished 2-2 in the other Group H clash between Senegal and Japan. Senegal led twice and had the opportunity to see the game out, but Japan showed real character to peg the Africans back twice. This result means that the loser (if there is one) of today's 7PM kick off will be eliminated at the group stage. Team news to come in about five minutes...

The return of James Rodriguez will capture the interest of most in this match, but Poland assistant Hubert Malowiejski has reassured fans that the European side have the Bayern Munich maestro under control, telling the BBC:

"We know how good James is, but we treat Colombia as a whole team, even if they have such a great player. The key point is not to let him play brilliantly, it is one of the most important tasks for our team."

Neutrals should expect a hotly contested match, and Colombia striker Radamel Falcao is inclined to agree, telling the BBC:

"It will be like a final. Each team will battle hard to keep the ball, and will close down the space for their opponents to operate in. Perhaps we won't make as many mistakes as we did before, because we all know this is a match that will determine who will continue in the World Cup."

The main team news in this clash is that James Rodriguez is expected to start for Columbia after his brief cameo in Saransk. Columbia will also be without Carlos Sanchez, who is suspended after seeing red on Tuesday. Poland's Kamil Glik is still missing despite returning to training following a shoulder injury. 

The exotically named Kazan Arena in Kazan was completed in 2013 after an outlay of $450m. The stadium can hold just over 45,000 spectators and is home to Russian Premier League club Rubin Kazan. The ground hosted four games at last year's Confederations Cup and holds the record for the 'largest outside screen in Europe'.

Colombia were behind within five minutes on Tuesday in Saransk, with Carlos Sanchez dismissed for hand-balling Shinji Kagawa's goalbound effort. Kagawa dispatched the penalty and compounded the misery for Colombia, who struggled to find a rhythm without James Rodriguez. Juan Quintero pulled the South Americans level on the stroke of half-time, but Yuya Osako restored the lead after the break to claim a famous win for the Asians. 

Poland were beaten on Tuesday in Moscow's Spartak Stadium, with Africans Senegal claiming a huge three points in controversial circumstances. Eventual matchwinner M'Baye Niang ran back onto the field after injury, collecting a through ball and dispatching Senegal's second goal. Grzegorz Krychowiak asked questions of the 'Lions of Teranga' with minutes remaining, but Alou Cisse's side remained resolute and grabbed the win. 

Poland and Colombia both lost their first group games to Senegal and Japan respectively in what was considered a relatively big shock - with many predicting these two sides would progress to the Round of 16.

These two sides have never met at the World Cup, playing each other just five times - and Colombia come out on top with three wins to Poland's two. The most recent meeting was in the build-up to Germany's 2006 World Cup, with Colombia running out 2-1 winners.

Hello and welcome to VAVEL UK's live match coverage and commentary of Poland vs Colombia in a vital Group H clash. Sunday evening sees Europeans Poland face off with South Americans Colombia in the 2018 World Cup. This evening's game kicks off at 19:00 GMT, capping off another wonderful week of football. Until then - we'll have plenty of pre-match build-up and analysis from me, Ewan Kingsbury.