After both nations lost their opening matches, defeat for either side would have resulted in elimination following Japan's draw with Senegal earlier in the day.

Yet, when the pressure was on, it was the South Americans who dominated from the off, sweeping past their opponents courtesy of goals from defender Yerry Mina, Falcao and Juan Cuadrado.

Colombia will probably still need to beat Senegal in their final match to reach the round of 16, however this convincing victory will give them renewed hope, especially when goal difference comes into play.

Playing in their sapphire blue away kit, Colombia took a deserved lead into the half-time break, as Poland struggled to create chances in the opening 45 minutes.

Still, it took a while for the South Americans to register the game's first shot on target, when the lively Cuadrado skipped past two Polish players before sting the palms of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny (37').

Eventually,though, they made the breakthrough from a well-worked short corner. 

The Polish defence failed to pick up either Cuadrado, Juan Quintero or James Rodriguez on the edge of the penalty area and after some neat exchanges between the trio, the latter crossed the ball for Mina to head home (40').

Poland created their first real chance when Lewandowski latched onto a long ball forward but was thwarted by goalkeeper David Ospina (59').

But as Poland pushed forward in a desperate attempt to save their World Cup dreams, Colombia pounced with a devastating counter attack.

It finished with Quintero providing the assist with a delightful pass to Falcao, who calmly converted the chance with the outside of his right foot (70').

Two soon became three when Rodriguez sent Cuadrado through on goal and the Juventus winger slotted the ball past Szczesny (75).

Poland didn't threaten after that as their World Cup journey ended with a whimper.