A comprehensive 3-0 victory for Colombia brought an end to Jan Bednarek’s World Cup adventure on Sunday night as Poland crashed out of Group H in Kazan.
Japan’s draw with Senegal earlier in the day opened the door for these sides - who both lost their opening fixtures - to stake a claim for qualification but it was the South Americans who produced in a thrilling of show attacking football.
Saints’ Bednarek made his first World Cup start for the Poles and featured for the full 90 minutes but could not do anything to stop the superb James Rodriguez.
The Bayern Munich midfielder laid on two assists for Yerry Mina on the stroke of half-time and Juan Cuadrado 15 minutes from the end, either side of Radamel Falcao’s well-taken finish past Wojciech Szczesny.
Jan and his side will play for pride next Thursday against Yoshida’s Japan who are now one of three potential Group H opponents for England in the knockout stages.