World Cup 2018: New West Ham signing Lukasz Fabianski warns England Colombia can ‘tear teams apart’

Colombia ended up topping Group H after beating both Poland and Senegal, losing their opening game to Japan after going a goal and a man down early on

Jonathan Liew
Chief Sports Writer
Friday 29 June 2018 20:06
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Colombia World Cup profile

Lukasz Fabianski believes England could be in danger on Tuesday night against a Colombia side capable of “tearing teams apart”.

Fabianski, the Poland goalkeeper whose side lost 3-0 to Colombia in their Group H game, believes England have missed a trick by not winning their group to set up a last-16 tie against Japan, who Poland beat 1-0 in Volgograd on Thursday evening.

“I think they would have preferred to play Japan rather than Colombia,” said Fabianski, the Swansea City goalkeeper. “Colombia is a much better side; much more dangerous. They lost the first game against Japan, but I think if you look at the qualities, the team to avoid at this stage of the tournament would be Colombia.”

Colombia ended up topping Group H after beating both Poland and Senegal, losing their opening game to Japan after going a goal and a man down early on.

“They have so much quality in the midfield, in [Juan] Cuadrado and James Rodriguez - especially Rodriguez, and another smaller guy, Quintero,” Fabianski said. “He's a really good player with real confidence about himself. This midfield, with Rodriguez as well, has quality, quality.”

Though knockout games are often more cagey than those in the group stage, Fabianski said the early stages of Tuesday’s encounter at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow would be crucial. “They tore us apart when we played against them,” he said, “so you have to look out. You have to try to make sure they don’t get a grip on the game.

“In games like this on the big stage, things are often quite even until the first goal. Then you have to change. One team has to go for it and the other team feels much more confident because they think: ‘Thank you very much, now we’re going to open you up’. That’s what happened in our game with Colombia.”

As for Poland, who have exited the competition after losing their first two games, Fabianski was pleased to give their travelling supporters a consolation victory to cheer about. “For us, it was a game to give something back to the fans,” he said. “We had high hopes of the last-16. That's what hurts the most.”

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